Squirrels, Abused and Abandoned Animals, and Gardening

Reader Contribution by Karen Kirkpatrick
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What a wonderful way to begin a lovely, sunny day – watching Early the Squirrel, and a bright red cardinal sharing breakfast and enjoying the sun. (Trivia: Did you know that the cardinal is the State Bird of Indiana?) Early is one of my yard squirrels who has adopted my dog, Ransom, and me. He greets us nearly every morning either by sitting on the porch railing waiting for breakfast or talking to us from the top of the yard shed where I put his food.

In a previous post, I wrote that I was going to share with you my research about squirrels. However, in my search for squirrel information, I came across an excellent article entitled “The Secret Life of Squirrels,” written by GRIT’s own Tim Nephew (May/June 2014). Tim covers such categories as: Destructive Guests; Good Grub; Biology; (descriptions of) Gray Squirrels, Fox Squirrels, Red Squirrels and Flying Squirrels; Removing Squirrels from Structures; and Fun Squirrel Facts. Tim’s article is thorough, well-written and informative. I see no reason to duplicate his work so I am referring readers interested in squirrels to read his article.

And with that said, I am refocusing (or is the current term “re-grouping”? I’m never quite sure what terms are “Politically Correct” – truth be known, I’m not even sure what “Politically Correct” means) my posts to include dogs, cats, horses, and my attempt to turn my not-in-good-shape small yard into a restful place for us all. The challenge here is going to be the yard, just now christened The Haven. Much reading and talking to successful gardeners is in store, and to that end, I began with Tobias Whitaker’s super GRIT blog post “Successful Small Property Gardening,” (3/23/2015) … a must-read for neophyte gardeners like me.

My posts about animals often will focus on rescue, abandoned, abused and unwanted animals and part of this will include the need to alter animals’ ability to procreate.

Until I moved into the condo, I was a foster parent to five dogs, four cats and one horse. (A warning here to anyone considering becoming an animal foster parent … do not do what I did and become so attached to your charges that you adopt your “fosters” rather than allow your “fosters” be adopted. Believe me, it is so easy to do.)

Sadie (top) and Lucy

Well, yesterday, when I began writing this post, it was sunny and warm for this time of year, and my thoughts kept shifting from my post to an afternoon walk with Ransom. Today as I finish this post, it is snowing and cold and taking Ransom for a walk is not at the top of today’s Must Do’s, although I’m not sure Ransom agrees with this decision.

So much for 24 hours – what a difference a day makes.  Let us look forward to an early spring – like tomorrow!

‘Til next time …

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