Squirrel Alert!

It was a beautiful afternoon, unexpectedly given to me when two appointments were cancelled. Off to Mrs O’s garden!

The first of the grass seed was an inch high, so time to remove the plastic and let it breathe. Meanwhile the ground was ready for planting out a few perennials. Some had been standing out in pots all winter, so they too were ready.

As I tipped one pot over I was surprised to see a swollen root – but no, it was a peanut in its shell! This pot had been raised off the ground to get a little more winter sun; clearly a favoured cache. Sorry, squirrel, you’ve lost that nut!

Last summer the squirrel living in next door’s roof was often seen with peanuts in her mouth, shimmying up the drainpipe to feed the family. Mrs Turnstone had hung them on the washing line for the blue tits, but all disappeared overnight, string and all. But where had Mrs Squirrel hidden them? When I cut the ivy down on the wall and trellis  after nesting time I found the remains of her store, dry and safe from magpies.

The new owner has sealed next door’s loft, so let’s hope we are squirrel-free for the coming summer. I also found a blackbird’s next with the eggs eaten …


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