The Squirrels Are Back in Town
Not that they ever really left (well, except maybe that one that, according to our neighbors, got eaten by the hawk), but the squirrels are back. With a vengeance. This time they are tag-teaming our corn:
They run from the back fence into the corn and back again, one after another. There's not much we can do about it — they can climb over anything we put around the corn, short of building a greenhouse for it.
So we walk around the yard picking up what's left of corn cobs and husks. Sometimes they leave scraps with actual kernels on them, which I hand directly over to the chickens. At least someone is getting some corn.
To be fair, we did get a tiny bit of corn. But it's not great, as you can see when I put an average-size tomato in the photo for scale:
These ears are pretty tiny, and what the squirrels are getting aren't any bigger. I don't know if it's due to the dry weather, the variety, or the slightly shady bed, but corn hasn't been great for us this year anyway. That takes some of the sting out of losing 90 percent of it to the rodents, I guess.
Jonas had the biggest one with his dinner last night; I blanched the rest to add to salsa. It’s doubtful that we'll get any more — they have gone through almost all of it and look to be moving on to Tiegan's popcorn plants.
They also finished off our remaining four sunflowers:
Although the one in the photo above is still attached, their typical M.O. is to rip the flower heads off entirely and eat up the baby seeds:
As with the corn, the bright side here is that I can feed whatever the squirrels leave behind to the chickens. Once the girls got over being afraid of it (they are afraid of all new foods, until one gets brave enough to taste it, and then they all chase each other around for a bite), they ate it right up.
With that kind of silver lining, I'm not sure the chickens are rooting for us against the squirrels any more. At best, the coop is Switzerland here.