Monday, August 18, 2008

Beech Tree Squirrels

There is a big beech tree in our front yard. We're not even sure if it's a beech tree. We have no evidence except that two neighbours came over to examine the large green nuts it's been dropping on our front walkway and they, very decisively, stated that it was a beech tree. In the spring these "beech" nuts were small. The neighbour dog, Jackson, liked to come over and munch on them occasionally. Now, the beech nuts are quite large. But they don't fall to the ground whole any more. No, they fall in teensy, sticky, half-devoured bits.

If we sweep the front walkway and try to remove the bits of beech nut from our car's roof and trunk and hood and the nook between the hood and the windshield, we only find that they have returned in full force the next day.

Yesterday, I carefully removed all the beech nut remnants from our driveway and walkway with a broom and a metal shovel which I used as a dust pan. It took me more than a half hour.

Today, I was out on the porch, watching the rain storm come in, and grimacing sourly at the newly littered walkway, when I saw, before my eyes, a piece of beech nut fall from the tree. Then another fell. And another. I looked up through the tangle of bushy "beech" branches but I couldn't see anything. I stepped out under the tree and craned my neck and shielded my eyes with my hand. Mark pulled into the driveway and stood next to me and did the same. We moved all around the tree, peering up through the branches until we had spyed the culprit - a cocky, looking black squirrel.

So we did the only thing we could do (without ready access to a sling shot). We plucked beech nuts and began throwing them up at the bushy menace. We threw dozens of beech nuts and didn't come close to hitting him. He continued to ignore our precarious tosses. We wished for a more menacing cat. We wished for one that could climb ontop of a couch, let alone, to the top of a beech nut tree. We sent angry, threatening mind-messages to the black squirrel. Then Mark finally tossed a nut that came close enough to send the beast scurrying to a higher branch, where he paused, if only for a moment, in his feast, to look down on us with laughing eyes. I think I even heard him cackle evilly.

This isn't the end, Beech Nut Squirrel. This isn't the end!

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