Strange chemistry

A neighbor where I live gave me a collection of succulents she no longer wanted, one in particular that looked a lot like a Dr. Seuss plant with a long gangly stem and thick lobed petals at the end. A couple of short branch offshoots with more thick-leaved petals at each tip. It does not appear to require much attention so I water it every so often. Not at all pretty but because it is a living thing and was given to me I cannot bring myself to put it on the compost heap. Besides, my neighbor might ask about it.

But it is of great interest to a squirrel that frequents the yard. This squirrel has eaten all the lobes off of one branch and a couple of the larger ones off the main stem. Each time he does he catapults into a few back flips from the flower pot onto the trunk of a tree. I can’t figure out whether this squirrel is a little nuts or the petals of this plant have an odd effect on him.

Where I used to live I would sprinkle bird seed on the railing of the deck off the back of the house. The birds flocked to the seed in winter so not having a deck here I put some seed on the windowsills on the back of the house here. Eventually the birds became braver, particularly the cardinals, and this one squirrel.

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I am guessing it is the same one. The first few times it came to feast on the seed it licked the (probably filthy) window screen, copiously. I did notice lately it has stopped the licking, but vacuums up nearly every seed on the window.

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So I am making more frequent trips out to replenish the window sill. Lily, my husky-mix rescue dog has recently taken a strong interest in this window. It appalls her that this creature which she generally takes great joy in chasing all over the yard would have such nerve as to practically make itself a houseguest. She will look at it, smugly gorging itself on the sill, then slowly turn her head to me as if to ask, “Are you actually going to tolerate this affront to my dignity?”, and turns just as slowly to stalk the back door I suppose so as not to alert the squirrel to her predation (so far Lily has not caught one yet).

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The chase is on, squirrel deftly springing from sill to mid-trunk of a nearby pine tree. Lily chases nothing all over the yard, squirrel now safely in the tree branches.

I suppose Lily has an image to maintain here.

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