Thursday, February 13, 2014

Squirrel TV – where the fun never ends. No subscription fee!

by Mary Jane Maffini aka Victoria Abbott

Lily - glued to Squirrel TV

I rarely watch television in the day, unless I’m really sick. It’s too much of a distraction, but at any rate,  it’s no match for the entertainment in the back yard (especially if I'm fighting a deadline)  Yes, I’m talking about squirrels.  As my dogs will tell you, we have more than enough: splendid black, glamorous gray and mean little red ones.   

I will deny this if the dogs are around, but the squirrels are quite entertaining. This means that I finally got over the incident of the bushy tailed rodent that ate the blooms off every single geranium in my planters and tossed them onto the deck floor.  Squirrels don’t eat geraniums, but they understand their dramatic payoff. That’s the thing with squirrels, they seems to be actors and acrobats and so much more. They may be the next big thing after Netflix.


Here’s the kind of programming we get on Squirrel TV (SQTV) and how it matches up with what else is on. 

                Teasing small earthbound dogs (Long running sitcom) 
                We will find a way to get all that birdseed  (Action adventure)
                I’m going to chase that gal up a forty foot tree and live happily ever after (Romance)
                Tree-to-tree mogul jumps (Winter Olympics)
                Streaking along electrical wires (The Amazing Race)
                Hanging from guttering by a toenail to get at the sunflower seeds (Summer Olympics)
                Rebuilding damaged nest at minus thirty degrees (Love It or List It)

Busy black squirrel rebuilding damaged nest in minus 30 weather

These are some of the recurring characters:   
                2 big puffy grey squirrels, very glam (Lola and Mamie)
               2 small mean red squirrels (Bitey and Scratchy)
                99 very industrious black squirrels (too busy to give their names)
                Daisy and Lily – a pair of frustrated dachshunds trapped in a house by unfeeling owners
                Flocks of birds
                Put them all together and they spell hours of entertainment, free of charge, if you don’t count geraniums and bird seed.

Oh and, they're watching you too. 



Hey, you two! Get off my keyboard! How many times do I have to tell you … Oh never mind.
So, my friends, how about you? Pro or anti-squirrel?  Do you watch Squirrel TV? Do you do portraits of squirrels like Victoria has been known to?


Bernie said...

We don't have squirrels to torment the corgis, however we have The Great Sparrow Chase.

This summer I planted sunflowers against our back fence, to give us a little privacy from new neighbours. Now the heads are turning to seed and the sparrows and other small birds are feasting.

The corgis are getting their exercise hurling themselves down the garden to bark at the birds. Although lately they have skipped the barking, trying to sneak up on the sparrows.
The birds hang off the flower heads just out of reach of dancing corgi legs.
It gives us many hours of pleasure, and the dogs get exercise
Current score is sparrows 99, corgis nil.

Susan L. @ Full Happy Muffin and Mama said...

I'm kinda pro-squirrel, but, living in a new housing area, there are very few around. Our Daisy gets her exercise with the bunnies that are around, though. ;)

Maggie Sefton said...

My doggies---Katy and Max---live to chase the squirrels. Katy, agile Border Collie Black shorthair is so quick she gives them heart attacks. Blue Tick Hound Max who is a lean running machine jumps straight up in attempts to snatch one. But our grey squirrels are gymnasts and love the action. And they live to torment Dogs. They will make these scary leaps from one branch to another small one while Katy and Max are leaping high in the air beneath, hoping to snatch him. But Saucy Squirrel (as I call Carl's nemesis in the Kelly Flynn books) dangles from the tips of the branch right above katy's head---deliberately I think---teasing both dogs. I call to them from the patio in the backyard as I'm relaxing on a chaise----"They're just pretending to fall!" But the dogs never listen. They fall for it every time and Saucy scrambles up the tiny branch then leaps to another and then skitters across the top fence rail, the dogs barking and jumping beneath. Great entertainment. :)

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Love this! I put out ears of dried corn for the squirrels, plus they love sunflower seeds and bird food in general. When I bought a big bag of corn at Lowe's the cashier picked up an ear and said, "How do you cook this stuff?" I said, "I don't cook it, it's for the squirrels." She was stunned and said, "Are you kidding me? You feed the squirrels?" Guess she doesn't appreciate our furry friends. As I left, she was telling the other cashiers about me and they were all staring at me in amazement. So in addition to being the "crazy cat lady," I guess I'm now "the crazy squirrel lady." That's okay, I can live with it!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love Corgis! Corgis and sparrows? Too much fun. That rates its own TV channel. I am a big Corgi fan and have other' Corgi friends on my Facebook page. Yesterday they were complaining about the Westminster show.

Thanks, Bernie!

Lois Winston said...

Hate, hate, hate squirrels! They steal my tomatoes while they're still small and green, take a bite out of them, then toss them on the ground. They once collected a pile of green tomato bombs in a nest and pelted me with them as I walked to my car. When I planted crocus bulbs one year, they dug them all up and had a picnic on my porch. Did I mention I hate squirrels?

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Mary, you crack me up! Of course, you buy seeds for the squirrels. That scene in Lowe's is very visual. I bet the squirrels are about as grateful as cats, but they're always entertaining.



Jeannie D. said...

I buy sunflower seeds and feed mine.I love to watch them. If I am late putting out new seeds, I have one that will sit on a low branch outside my kitchen window and while I am doing dishes in the morning, hold its little hands and duck its head to look in the window, like "Hey Lady, Hello! Are you going to feed me!" My daughter calls me the Squirrel Whisperer, Lol!

Shelly said...

My girls, Maggie and Sally, are at war with the squirrels in our yard. So far the only casualties have been dachshund pride (and some decorative lights my husband put up in the tree closest to our quick-set pool last summer). The squirrels delight in teasing the dogs. The dogs dream of finally catching one of the little fluffy-tailed jerks. After the light incident (and watching the teasing) I am now firmly in the dogs' camp on this. In fact, in the summers one of our bonding activities is to pursue a squirrel to one of our trees and all three stand beneath the tree, glaring up at the little jerk. Once the squirrel foolishly came partway down the tree to chirp and taunt my dogs. He learned not to do that when I threw a stick at him (I missed, but he retreated and now stays farther up the tree while taunting). I plan to invest in a super soaker next summer in the hopes that I can soak one of the little creeps.

Ritaestelle said...

I love watching the squirrels and all the other little (and not so little) critters going about their business in the back yard! Interesting stuff! We don't have black squirrels here in New Jersey. Looks like Daisy and Lily have a very large 'tv screen' to view all the action and fun in their back yard!

Lynda said...

I love watching the squirrels. One year we had two young ones who were so cute jumping around. But it's a balancing act because I have a feral cat colony in my back yard. The birds and squirrels were there first, so I still feed them (sunflower seed for birds and squirrels and corn and peanuts for the squirrels), but I worry about them. Most of the time, they are quick enough to escape the cats, but once the cats brought me a souvenier tail (I did not show my appreciation) and once a cat caught one, but I saw it immediately and ran out. The squirrel ran away and I hope he was OK.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

We have a Daisy too, Susan! She's not much for exercise, but does like to get in a good bark. Lily is in charge of chasing. Bunnies are lots of fun for humans too.



Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love to watch the mind games with squirrels. Dogs are so sweet and have such short memories of humiliation.

Hope you're enjoying your holiday, Maggie!



Mary Jane Maffini said...

I forgot about the bulbs, Lois! I hear you. We have found that putting chicken wire over the tulips keeps the squirrels from getting them. I once lost 2 hundred crocus.




Mary Jane Maffini said...

That's so cute, Jeannie! I find them very cute to look at even if they like to torment us.



Mary Jane Maffini said...

Super soaker! Ha ha! Daisy and Lily love that idea for squirrels. You can tell yours that Lily once caught a chipmunk so there is hope. We discourage actually catching though. We view the squirrels as juvenile delinquents rather than full fledged criminals.

Hugs to you and your girls!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

The fun never ends, Ritaestelle. In the summer Lily can open the screen porch door to get out unaided (the yard is fenced) and that causes some excitement. Our millions of black squirrels started with one breeding pair that the Prime Minister imported. They're everywhere now! Look there's one now!



Mary Jane Maffini said...

Hi Lynda - cats are more skilled than dogs so I hear you! But if the dogs ever learn to climb trees, look out world.

I love watching the squirrels too - but cats also make great viewing.



Aurian said...

I live in the big city myself, so we have big pigeons, crows and seagulls. But at my parents vacation home in the woods I love watching dozens of different birds and the red squirrels with the fluffy tails. They love peanuts and peanut butter. All the birds do. Just take a knife or fork and put it on a tree in front of your window and enjoy the view :)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a fun idea, Aurian! In a spectacular bit of on-going procrastination, I have been putting pecans on the window sill outside my office. The squirrel has been trying to break in. Fun for me and the dogs can't see it, so no loud barking. Next peanut butter - not on the window sill though.