The squirrels really seem to be enjoying the new condominium I built them in the wood shed. That had not been my intention. I thought I was stowing firewood for the coming winter, but apparently not. All of a sudden they’re taking time off from their nearly incessant cone harvest to explore all the lovely nooks and crannies in the pile. More than likely, they’re stuffing their cones in there.
We’ve cleared out complete nests from the pile in the past, and I assume we’ll need to do that again. I imagine it offers a measure of security that they’re not used to otherwise. Events lately have brought home a point: the life of a squirrel is tough.
We’ve had some big storms lately, with a lot of wind and rain. One morning we heard a big “thump” on the porch roof, and a brown object hurtled past the window. When we looked out, we saw a squirrel, looking even more frazzled and indecisive than usual. Apparently, the wind blew it off its perch, either out of a tree, or off a wire or roof eave!
Shortly after that, we found a squirrel drowned in one of our auxiliary rain barrels (not one that collects drinking water!). I don’t know if it was trying to get a drink, or to fish out cones that had fallen in there. I’ve heard that squirrels will even submerge spruce cones in water to keep them tight until time to eat, so that may have been its purpose.
I feel a bit of sympathy for them, but not enough to offer asylum in the wood pile. I’m going to have to keep an eye on the situation, and evict if necessary. They may not find me to be a kind-hearted landlord.