Can’t Win

I used to have two large vegetable gardens.  I did everything I could to keep the animals out and nothing worked.  So, I had the good idea to get a raised planter for lettuce that rabbits and other terrestrial animals couldn’t reach.  Unfortunately,  the squirrels could get to it and dug in the soil to bury nuts.  Next, I covered it with food tents.  The squirrels found that the food tents would make good nesting material and began to strip the fabric.

I put the tent back together, pinned it down and the next day the squirrels took the whole thing.

I reached my wit’s end and looked through the garage for anything to cover the planter.  As you can see, I cobbled together trays, bent hangers and plastic mesh.  Yes, the squirrel did squeeze between the trays and dug some holes, but there is still some lettuce left for me.  It is hard to win against mother nature, especially if the opponents  are her squirrels.


Back Home

I arrived back home to find wilted plants including this azalea.  My area had about seven days of temperatures in the 100’s.  The semi-tropical garden loved the heat and returned to a jungle-like state.  It is too overgrown to take pictures. I also pulled up a couple of bushels of weeds from the front yard before the neighborhood association came by.

I always leave my clogs on the back porch and one of them was missing.  I found it in the wooded area.

Later I found the sole insert that was all chewed up.  I blame the usual suspects, which are the squirrels, that like to use my stuff to build nests. I learned to put my chair cushions in the garage, now I guess I learned my lesson to put my clogs away.

It turned out that the story was not over.  I ordered a new shiny pair of clogs and was throwing out my old ones, when this big toad hopped out.  The toad was not thrilled to have his picture taken, but I managed to get one shot.  Not only do the clogs protect my feet, they also could make a nice addition to a squirrel nest and a cozy place for a toad to sleep.

November Wildlife

I always love the visiting wildlife in the yard.  This day started with a rabbit waiting on his breakfast.

One sign of Fall is the arrival of the American White Pelicans.  Every morning they take a long lazy flight.

A very unexpected visitor was this Tersa Sphinx Moth.  I was weeding and when I brought my hand out of the plants, the moth was attached to my glove.

Take a close look at this photo to see the pine cones that were eaten by the squirrels.  The ground was covered with the scales after the seeds were eaten.  The squirrels had quite the feast, as a large area was littered with pine cone remains.


Bottlebrush Tragedy


The Weeping Bottlebrush is a favorite tree in the Automatic Garden.  It is evergreen and a refuge for birds.  Its beautiful red brush-like flowers bloom at exactly the right time for the hummingbird migration.  It is a perfect tree.


Not this year.  Nearly every flower is on the ground.  The Weeping Bottlebrush is bare and the hummingbirds aren’t flocking to it.


Why?  Look in the center of the photo.  It is that rat with the bushy tail.  One squirrel started pulling off the flowers and snacking on the forming seeds.  Other squirrels thought it was a good idea too.  There is nothing more I can say, but y’all know what I’m thinking.

Flashback Friday

Well, I just found out it was Squirrel Appreciation Day.  I am trying to think of a reason to appreciate them.  They are fun to watch … sometimes.  That’s all I can come up with.  Maybe some of you have some better reasons to appreciate them.

Today’s Flashback is to a cute little squirrel taking refuge on a second story windowsill.

Above the Flood



Above the Flood


This little guy is safe and above the flood.  We are waiting on Tropical Storm Bill and bands of rain have been coming in.  We found this squirrel curled up on the second floor window sill, high and dry.  Our house should actually be fine, but others won’t be so lucky.

Also, check out the grass patch.  It is doing quite well with the rain.

A Theif


A crime was committed in broad daylight!  An experienced thief swiftly infiltrated his target and by the looks of the surgical detail, it was not his first time.  After being caught in the act, some of the haul was left behind.  The thief has not been identified, but as he scurried away a grey a bushy tail was seen.

Where Have All the Peppers Gone?… or… Would They Be Rats Without Those Bushy Tails?


Where have all the peppers gone? The ornamental peppers usually have a lovely display of red to start the winter season, but now there is none.


After closer examination, a small pile of ripe peppers were found in the bed.


Later, another pepper was spotted in a pot of marigolds under the mesh that was put on to protect the young plants. Obviously, not a barrier for the culprit.


As they say, there is a silver lining if you look close enough, really close.  Behind the pepper is a tiny new pepper plant seedling just starting.  There will surely be more scattered throughout the garden.


And who is responsible for all this upheaval in the garden?  Our squirrel friends, who are tolerated just because of those cute bushy tails!  This little fellow was on his way up the tree, when he saw the camera and turned around to pose for the shot.