Thisbaffle didn't fool the squirrel.  He was so busy eating he didn't notice me creeping up for s photo.  He was doing stomach crouches to get the suet with his paws.

This baffle didn’t fool the squirrel. She was so busy eating she didn’t notice me creeping up for a photo. She was doing stomach crunches to get the suet with her paws.

David and I have grown weary of feeding the squirrels expensive bird food.  Oh what to do?  We have tried almost everything including baffles, feeders in cages and slippery poles. Finally, we might have stumbled onto something thanks to neighbor Kathy.  If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em, she says.

Kathy’s solution…feed the squirrels something they like better than bird seed…peanuts.  When we fill our feeders, we now throw out handfuls of peanuts…. shelled peanuts, mind you.

I laughed when Kathy told me about this.  Shell the peanuts, you gotta be kidding.  “I don’t want the dogs to eat the shells” she said. And yes, come to think of it, our adorable, if sometimes stupid dogs would eat the shells.


The pool water was cold as it always is on Mondays, but I had a nice conversation with KK.  She, now retired from teaching Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, and other languages says to me …”You should be teaching.  All that knowledge you have, you should share it.”  No thank you, says I quite content to not teach.  I don’t have the right personality for teaching. I am not patient, and certainly not outgoing.  I would rather be a scholar and do research, read and write.

I then proceeded to lecture the supple young woman attending me in the podiatrist’s office on the befits of exercise.  My feet were very dry and the doc had prescribed a lotion that addresses skin dried from exposure to chlorinated water, and the meds I take.

As she helped me pull up my socks and shoes, I mentioned to the assistant that I did much exercising when I was younger,working out with Jack LaLanne every morning, getting my figure back after each child-birth. I didn’t get as much exercise when I began desk work in an office every day.

Nevertheless, my boss and I walked at lunch on sunny days…all around Lafayette Park, the Ellipse and White House. After I joined the Census Bureau, I walked the corridors (all seven miles) at lunch with my schoolmate and colleague Amara.  And, I walked on a tread mill or rode on an exercise bike in the gym, and took yoga. for several years.  Still, I got stiff.

 She told me she played many sports in high school, mostly soccer, (she is from Brazil) and took dance for many years.

“I was very flexible then, but I can tell I am losing some of it,” she told me.  I asked her if she had a dog.  A German Shepherd Husky mix and he walks me, she replied. Good, he will help keep you fit.

Last time I visited the podiatrist, she and I talked about parrots and iPhone technology.

This post linked to Michelle’s Nature Notes, link at left.

25 thoughts on “Challenge

  1. Pingback: Nature Notes (#245)~It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs | ~RAMBLING WOODS~

  2. The squirrels, birds, and opossums get along pretty well around here. I think they are all getting enough to eat as this seems to be the yard they all love. Including the cats who just keep coming by, too.


  3. Yes squirrels and raccoons love suet. Fat helps keep the body going in winter and they will do anything to survive it even if it doesn’t get all that cold. I keep the squirrels from the suet by using suet cages or upsidedown suet feeders. At the top of my web page is a page on my feeders. The cages will keep out the squirrels, but the raccoons can carry them off.

    Squirrels love peanuts and will bury the ones in the shell unless very hungry, but will eat the others. They love sunflower seeds. They love pumpkin seeds They will eat cracked corn if they can’t get sunflower seeds or suet.

    Don’t spray anything on a feeder pole. Any grease, vaseline or even Pam can coat the fur or the feathers of a bird and cause illness. I learned that from my rehabber friend.

    Thanks for taking care of the wildlife……Michelle


  4. One thing I’ve learned in my long and non-illustrious life: there’s no fooling the squirrels. Raccoons either. Unfortunately, there’s no way to fake the exercise either, and believe me, I’ve tried (as my paid-up but rarely used gym membership will attest)!


  5. We came up with something that worked. My dad put a tall, squared post in the ground, slid a PVC pipe over it and attached a platform to hold the bird feeder in place. The PVC pipe prevented the squirrels from shimmying up the pole (their claws couldn’t get any traction, so they’d just slide back downward). It’s also key to place the post in a location where the squirrels can’t leap onto it from a tree branch. They are acrobatic little guys.


  6. We had the same squirrel problem in Illinois. We bought a bird feeder that had a plexiglass half dome over the cylindrical feeder. It worked for us for many years. The funniest part was watching the squirrels trying every which way to reach it. It’s not like they didn’t get enough horse chestnuts from our tree in the fall. We used to get little horse chestnut seedlings (nutlings?) popping up all over the yard in spring where they buried and forgot about them.


  7. I am having the same problem in my yard with those dadgum varmints. This weekend I finally put out some corn just for them. We’ll see if it makes a difference. I got tired of spraying the shepherd’s hook pole with Pam, so while I thought I was so smart, turns out it was only a temporary fix. 🙂


  8. You are soooo determined to feed those birds. Lol. Not something I would do. I believe there is a law in Hawaii that specifically prohibits it. Hey, try balancing on one foot with your eyes closed. If you can’t, then you need to improve your balance to prevent falls. One way is to practice standing on one foot with eyes closed for 15 seconds.


  9. Loved the squirrel saga, and had to read it to my husband. He thought peanuts would be more expensive than birdseed. Probably his idea of “expensive bird seed” is not the same. But then, he likes the squirrels. I don’t care for them or the doves. Both species are real turkeys. They gobble, gobble, gobble our feed.

    I am not good at scheduling TV time, but I am going to try to catch Bill’s word of the day. And by the way, you ARE teaching. Admittedly, your class is a bit informal, but I’m not the only one benefitting from the digestible bites of knowledge you serve up.


  10. I had to come by and see what technique you had employed to prevent the squirrels raiding the bird feeders. This little fellow made me laugh. I also put peanuts down and have always bought the ones in their shells but never thought of shelling them first. I might rethink this as those shells make quite a mess. Enjoyed your post today.


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