“April Showers,” tis said, “Bring May Flowers.”
So, it was, I purchased 2 magnificent hanging baskets of geraniums
at Terra Greenhouses...one with dusty pink flowers,
the other in pale pink blooms;
the other in pale pink blooms;
luscious verdant foliage surrounded these colourful geraniums.
In early May, I stowed my 'Hibiscus Bush' outside on my 3rd floor balcony...
pruned its lengthy stalks to instill new growth...and Voila!
My Summer's Enjoyment!
Several months ago, I blogged articles about a couple hibiscus plants, that after 2 summers, two pesty squirrels (Blackie & Gray) had attacked and destroyed them....digging in the soil and chewing leaves. Although, cute in appearance, they were an absolute nuisance! Even, ripping through window screens to enter my apartment...food searching or places to nest. The following summer, I settled for artificial flowers which the same squirrels attacked. My residence is a yellow brick building...however, with sharp claws, they scale up and down the walls quickly with ease...to reach and search destinations.
I NEVER FED THEM!
“I like squirrels,” stated Gabby Douglas, “they're so adventurous.”
Ruth Reichi discovered the truth: “I don't have my own garden; we're on shale and in the woods. And if I did have a garden, the deer and chipmunks and squirrels would eat everything anyway.”
And Donald Hall comments, “I'm happy to feed the squirrels...tree rats with the agility of point guards ~ but in fair weather, they frighten my finches. They leap from snowbank to porch to feeder...and stuff their cheek pouches with chickadee feed.”
Without flowers on my balcony for several summers, I relented...and a year ago in August...and bought an “On Sale: Patio Hibiscus!” which bore 75 gigantic coral-red blooms. Over this past winter, I stored it inside...then this past late April, moved it again to my balcony...pruned its limbs...watered it and my hanging baskets every two days. Great Enjoyment for morning coffee...reading the daily newspaper and novels...watching activity along the “Bike Path”.
THEN BLACKIE ARRIVED!
Was he one of my frequent squirrel visitors of a few years ago?
Or an offspring?
His habits the same: digging out the soils from my hibiscus plant and hanging baskets. One morning I discovered a couple of long limbs (each about 2 feet in length), completely chewed off my hibiscus...and leaves fully devoured. Many times I've swept up the soil, returning it to the plants.
Yet, 'Blackie', continuing his visitations, concentrated on the far hanging basket.
With several small wooden boxes (in which mandarin oranges are shipped), I surrounded the spaces below the acrylic panels to hopefully deter his entries. NO PROBLEM FOR HIM: he just climbed the brick wall higher...then jumped from place to place to gain access to the far hanging basket. I shoo-ed him away many times. Much soil was spilled over the edge, landing on my “Vega” statue who faces her “Vega Constellation” in the night sky...but also all over my balcony floor...which nightly I swept.
He perpetually climbed the wall to reach that far basket. Determined, he was, to be in that pot... chewing leaves (more than half now destroyed) and shoving out the soil. Due to height of the basket, I was unable to view the full damage...the flowers within, told me they were dead....thanks to his mischieveness! As a last resort, I purchased 'moth balls' to insert into the soil of all plants; however, this did not deter his activity. Clapping my hands, he'd escape the basket...jump to the balcony floor...speedily run to the far end of the balcony...climb the wall and scurry to the ground! Repeatedly, he continued his arrival to the plant! Clapping my hands, he'd hop out and run, viciously back and forth from the far end...back hurriedly to his basket...from where I chased him again. Finally, I resorted to my broom, batting him with the bristle ends...he'd escape to the floor, run to the end, then back again and again to regain access to his hide-place.
Subjected to my attacks on him...and dashing back, he jumped to my lap, biting and scratching my right hand, I swatted him away...and he jumped to climb the wall to His Nest! A gouge on the top side of my hand bled and bled...plus a scratch on the lower end of my middle finger also bled.. For several minutes, blood receded from my hand...went inside to run water on the bite and scratch...the gouge on top side of my hand stung badly (like a bee sting)... while warm water touched the injured area. On my return to my balcony chair, he again ran along the wall above the table to reach his destination. When batting my broom bristles at him as he poked his head above the basket rim, he arose from 'his nest' with a hairless baby squirrel in his mouth...as SHE ran, dropping the about 3-inch long nude baby on the balcony floor, SHE jumped to retrieve it...and scampered off the balcony.
Have not seen HER since!
Today, my Doctor saw me by appointment:
I had some concern about possible 'rabies' from the severe bite, although only about 1/8th inch wide.
By law, she had to report 'any animal bite to a human'...and send to a government agency.
She indicated that quite possibly, due to the excess bleeding on the gouge, any insertion from the squirrel's mouth would depart with the bleeding. Fortunately, there was no swelling ~ and soreness had disappeared by the following day... the area was slightly tender upon touch. The determining statement was: “I assaulted the squirrel for attacking my flowers. He attacked me for interfering with his plans!”
Consultation between the agency and my doctor
clarified that no vaccine would be necessary.
It's now 3 days later...no squirrel visitation!
However, my beautiful hanging baskets are nearly void of flowers!
Next year, again, I'll probably resort to none...or artificials.
Hopefully the squirrel breeding season is over for '17.
Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel.
Huge portions of what is loosely termed 'squirrel brain'
are given over to one thought: Food or Nest!”
A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same...
states a loveable squirrel clasping a yellow daisy.
In an animal cartoon, Squirrel comments,
“I don't wear skinny jeans...'caus my nuts don't fit!”
Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...August 4, 2017