Down South They Call Them Tree Rats

I got up unusually early for a Monday: I have a search comm meet this morn (more about that later I’m sure).  I mention this because this means that I was in the attic to care for the menagerie earlier than I’d otherwise have been.  And there he was on my roof, my sometimes nemesis, black phase of the Eastern Gray Squirrel.  I know that some of you south people even like these things; and I know that the rest of you are just mostly resigned to their presence.  I hate him and I want him dead.  He has done a good deal of damage to some birdfeeders, he’s copped plenty of good feed meant for creatures far more charming than he, and he drives off the other animals I like better.  And he’s not even supposed to be here – chalk it up to global warming if you like, but they tell me that a dozen years ago there was no such varmit this far north.  (Ok, finally, with my recent osteophilia, I really want his pretty bleached skull.) 

I have actually tried to hunt him down.  I bought a slingshot for the purpose.  However, as I already knew, I’m not much of a shot.  Maybe I should have mentioned this failure in my sabbatical report.  If and when the famine comes that all the coddled and overfed in Canada deserve, according to Kate McMillan, I’m facing a pretty steep Jeremiah Johnson kinda learning curve if I suddenly need to eat tree rats.  Oh well, I’m already making other plans, lending my support to the FB Group Sudbury Backyard Chickens and whatnot, plenty of room out back for a coop.

FYI – still Robins around here, which I shall report to the Sudbury Ornithologcal Society this eve (I write as a reminder to myself of the meet) and White-Breasted Nuthatch is now a regular presence in the yard.  I’m not holding my breath for any new or even occasional winter bird species – hardly any fruit on any of the trees.


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