Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red Squirrel Visits

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just finished plowing two driveways to be sure I have room for snow if the impending storm turns out to be snow instead of a mix here on the mountain. The forecast has changed for three days now but something is coming this way so I wanted to have things cleaned up. I try to keep in front of the mailboxes clean for Lois the mail lady as I don't like to make it harder for her to reach from her driver's seat with that long pincher thingy she uses to get the mail in the box. She's still the kind of mail lady who will bring anything to the door that doesn't fit in the box and she's always certain that Alex gets his books at the door because she knows he counts on them.

I've been in my office a lot lately because I've been wrapped up in a cold virus that just wouldn't quit. It seems a lot better today and I am already grateful not to be coughing. Many reminded me that it was a three week virus and it looks as if it will end in about that amount of time. Being inside I have had time to begin making changes to our website that Gail wants completed before I report an updated version. None of it is difficult, it just takes time and I am making progress. I should have it ready to post later in March.

Being in the office means that I have been able to watch the platform feeder. A flash of feathers causes me to turn for a look-see and thus far there is nothing new from the bird world but I have seen lots of birds. As the snow here deepens, the bird population increases and of all the birds I have probably seen more woodpeckers of late coming out of the forests for suet. 

During the past month the number of red squirrels has increased to six and I cannot say they please me. They are always hungry and they scare away the birds. They refuse to feed on the ground despite my attempts to leave plenty of food by the holes they leave in the snowdrifts. They are used to me now and when I approach with a morning buffet for the birds, they seem annoyed to have to move out of the way.

Red squirrels can be a real nuisance if they get in your house but so far we have never had the problem. I contend with their ravenous behavior and enjoy  their smiling faces, sometimes reminding them to behave or face death. A neighbor told me that last year he relocated dozens but frankly I have no time for live trapping and squirrel relocation programs.

As thoughts turn to spring and this weekend's flower show in Essex,  I still have a few more orders to place. We need a few more hydrangeas and there are a few common perennials I need in quantity to finish the swaths of color I am planting along the river fence. Check it out next summer for a display that is more colorful each year.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where blue jays just succeeded in taking over the feeder from a very irritated squirrel. Best gardening wishes! Write us with design questions.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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Always here to help you grow your green thumb!


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