The guy in question is this squirrel who hangs out around our place.
And what did he do that was wrong, you may be wondering? Well, last fall I excitedly planted a selection of ‘early-spring blossoming’ crocus bulbs in a new garden I had prepared, just outside a window. I had envisioned us warm and cozy inside while being able to see a variety of pretty flowers blooming outside.
And I bet you know where this story is going, and won’t be surprised when I tell you that not a single one of those bulbs came to flower. Oh, they showed promise indeed, as when I checked on them in mid-March, they had sprouted the tell tale spiky leaves that announced that a flower was presumably on it’s way.
But then, one day in late March, I looked out to see this very squirrel holding one of those bulbs in his little hands, and he was munching away on it to beat the band. Around him lay the debris left behind from many others that he had consumed. Turns out that only the bulb part is tasty to a squirrel, and in a terribly mocking fashion, the tufts of spiky leaves, some with unopened flowers nestled within, were discarded and left behind.
But as I say, I do not wish this fellow harm for eating my plants. Oh, I would have preferred that he left my garden alone, but really, I would rather have him around than some flowers that only show colour for a few days a year anyway.
Around this time last year, I wrote about how an entire colony of squirrels had lived among the trees outside our home, for all the years that we had lived here. We had a lot of fun watching them go about their lives and got to know the individuals and had little nicknames for them. Then very suddenly, they were all gone. We have no idea what had caused them to all move away. For a month we watched for them but they seemed gone for good.
Then as last summer progressed it seemed like one or two had moved back. We saw them sometimes, but the busy days of a whole family out there were over.
This brings us to this year and this one squirrel. He (and I am not actually 100% certain that he is a ‘he’) is the only one who seems to be about consistently nowadays. And welcome, he is, even if that means no crocuses in the new garden spot.
It was a bit strange how he only went for the new bulbs and not these that have been dependably blooming near our front door for a decade. I guess the new ones, with their promised pretty assortment of colours and petal shapes, were just tastier in their fresh state. The ‘plain old purple’ ones just aren’t as good as the yellow and white ones I suppose.
Whatever it was that drew him to the new bulbs, he still wanted more. Here he is searching the spot to see if possibly he had missed a morsel.
Now my fingers are crossed that he doesn’t find, or have a liking for, the new tulip bulbs I also planted at the same time as the crocuses. So far each one is accounted for, heralding their survival with tufts of leaves breaking the surface of the ground, awaiting their time to shine.
I’ll keep you apprised of their success.