Sunday, February 05, 2006

Last Sunday ...

... on the way back from the park, Evelin and I (and Celeste with a bit of a protest as we walked past the turn home) decided to flip by the local Quickie Mart to pick up the Sunday Post. On the way back, I noticed a squirrel digging intently. It was at the edge of a retaining wall that ran next to the sidewalk, putting it about chest high and less than a foot away. And it didn't notice us approaching. Standing right next to an oblivious squirrel, what else was I supposed to?

I tapped it on the back — just a light little brush, but the startled squirrel jumped straight up ... which is where my poor impulse control ran into my inability to see the consequences of this act. The squirrel didn't jump quite straight up; there was a bit of forward moment toward me ... actually toward the gap between me and Celeste's stroller, which I was pushing.

The squirrel hit my leg on the way down and scooted under the stroller, getting clipped by the wheel a little before running across the sidewalk and up a tree where it proceeded to chatter wildly at us. I was laughing; Evelin was scowling; Celeste was wondering what had happened.

This morning, as Evelin was getting ready for her bookclub, she looked out on the porch and found that the squirrels I've been unable to keep out of the porch roof, apparently seeking revenge for what I'd done to their kinfolk, had chewed through part of the fascia board. Up until now, they hadn't really done damage to the porch (there's a large air gap between the top of the gutters and the roofline, so I need to put some sort of hardware cloth around the entire roof edge, which probably means taking down the gutters), so I'd only used a bit of harassment to keep them at bay. Obviously, I'm not annoying them enough ... I guess it's time to try spraying a bunch of cayenne up in there ...

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