Monday, April 21, 2008

Squirrel Families

We have had a squirrel family nesting in the carport, and it looked as though the squirrel mama had had a few broods in there, which didn't bother us too much until we saw the soggy, peeling paint in the corner where the nest was. Squirrel families are one thing; wet wood is another, so Richard got out the wire and started battening down the hatches. He peered around with a flashlight first, trying to see if the female was in the process of preparing for the babies or already finished having the babies because we didn't want to disturb them. He also banged around the soffits a bit; in our experience you usually hear a lot of rustling if there's anything in there. The space was was silent. No noise. No rustling. No squeaks. The coast looked clear, or so he thought until he unscrewed the back panel of the soffit.
















Out fell a gigantic pile of shredded plastic, paper, and leaves. And three squirrel babies. Well, baby isn't quite the term for them - they weren't so little anymore - but obviously still hanging out with mum. To say we were all shocked and appalled would be understating it a bit, because while Richard was shocked and I was appalled, Max was gleeful. Finally a squirrel to chase after with his blowdart! (have I mentioned that Max is going through a phase I've termed fatuum filius?)

The babies, as you can see from the photo, dived into the space between the old hose and the woodpile, and started squeaking as loud as they could. Loud enough to call mum, evidently, because in a second she was there, hanging off the stucco wall (see photo), obviously quite irritated at what we'd done. She checked out her brood, wrapped one around her neck, and took off. Twenty minutes later, she was back for the next one, and then the next.

The only hiccup was when the fellow across the street thought she and her baby were really two fighting squirrels, and started chasing her away. I sent fatuum filius sine his blow-pistolium over to explain that she was really a mother squirrel trying to relocate her family in a hurry, since I felt too guilty to face it myself.

And now I sort of miss hearing her scrambling up the stucco wall outside our bedroom window at 4am...

1 comment:

LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

What a surprise! I hope mum has found another warm and safe place for her brood? They had all the home comforts in their previous nest. It must have been really cute watching her coming back for each one. Hopefully they are now out of the range of fatuum filius! x