Save Our Planet

I’ve been worried a lot lately about my carbon footprint.  Specifically, I think I may be producing too many words, and possibly poisoning the ground water supply.  It is well established that I never stop talking, and for the last three months I’ve done nothing but write, so there’s a lot of potentially toxic materials relentlessly falling directly from my brain.

I have been irresponsible and it’s time to Blog Green.  In hopes of singlehandedly saving the planet, I am reviving some of my most popular posts.  Enjoy…again.

The Great Acorn Shortage Of 2008, September 4, 2012

By now it is clear that my husband and I are animal lovers, so naturally when the fall of 2008 rolled in with a serious acorn blight of some kind, our thoughts turned immediately to the hungry squirrels.

Our house has a sliding glass door in the kitchen that leads out to what would be a lovely deck, if we’d ever gotten around to building it.  When faced with the scariest acorn shortage ever, Dan got it into his head that we needed a deck.  But not just any deck—we needed a squirrel deck.  The next thing I knew, Dan had a big square piece of plywood laid out on the grass under the kitchen door.  He started putting out food for the squirrels on the plywood.  A few days later, he elevated the plywood 6” or so, and  added a spinning thing from which he could hang two ears of corn, for a little variety.  Every few days, he would raise the plywood higher and higher, trying to acclimate the squirrels to their new food source.  Finally, when the squirrels were completely comfortable with the arrangement, Dan put the plywood on a couple of posts and raised the squirrel deck flush with the bottom of our kitchen door.

In between rolling my eyes and making sarcastic remarks, I started to notice how really cool it was to have a squirrel deck.  Dan bought nuts in bulk and ordered corn cobs by the case from www.crittercorn.com (Don’t believe me?  Click on the link), and soon we had all kinds of woodland creatures dining in style right outside our door.  Cardinals, blue birds, and squirrels in the morning, and an adorable family of raccoons late at night.  Soon the deer started swinging by for a nibble, and inevitably, the red foxes meandered out as well.

The foxes can’t climb up the deck, so at first we paid them little attention.  But we finally realized that a fox is, well, crazy like a fox, and had taken to just hanging out under the deck.  What goes up must come down, and some of the squirrels came down to a nasty surprise.  Dan headed out to the hardware store again and brought home several pieces of lumber, and some heavy duty bungee cord.  In a flash, Dan built a bridge from the deck to a tree in our backyard.  It wasn’t pretty, but our precious squirrels had safe passage.

By the time summer rolled around and food was plentiful, I couldn’t bear to give up the deck, and so it has stayed, in various iterations, for 4 years.  Every morning Dan hitches up his pants and announces in his best Farmer Brown voice that he’s “goin’ out to feed the critters,” and the cats and I enjoy watching another morning of squirrel antics.

Here’s a picture of the deck and bridge in all its glory (yes, that’s Helen in the foreground), and a picture of a particularly acrobatic squirrel enjoying the critter corn.  Pretty fancy, eh?

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2 Responses to Save Our Planet

  1. Jill Foer Hirsch says:

    Yes, I’m crazy–you’re hardly the first to notice that. And yes, my husband is a great guy. My family tells me they love Dan just a little more than me, and I don’t even blame them.

    This saga continued as I documented in subsequent blogs–we have a serious raccoon problem. They like to hang on the door handle and study it and paw at it while they look at my cats and lick their lips. It’s a little scary. Burglars might worry about our alarm system, but I feel like the raccoons are less concerned about being arrested. Sigh.

  2. Kate says:

    Ummm…you’re just plain crazy! I have 4 bird feeders, a birdbath and a pond so we get critters. Tons of critters. The squirrels are the craziest. I buy corn for them but we have a contest on who can keep the sunflower seeds for the birds. Right now I’m winning (we moved the post yet again). I kinda like your husband. My kinda guy!

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