Monday, 28 April 2014

A guest in my garden - and on my blog

Hello folks, I am guest writing on the Graphicality blog today and I just wanted to tell you a bit about what’s going on in the garden right now. But let me present myself first....

I am Mrs Squirrel and this garden is my favourite place to forage for food!

The lady that lives here has been kind enough to move the bird feeder down to the fence so I can easily get my favourite food.

Yum, yum, I love bird seeds.

Plenty to eat here!

And when the meal is over I can just hang around here an pose for the lady photographer.

Anyone lurking around in the bushes?

Hmm, that cat is here every day, trying to look intimidating.

But he doesn’t fool me! I better have some more of that yummy food.

Speaking of that cat…

He keeps sitting on the fence so I can’t get past! Just look how he keeps perching his bum on the fence posts.

Here he is again, on the other side, sitting the same way – never seen any other cat sitting like that!

Ooops, here is the cat that lives 4 doors down, sitting on the same fence, exactly the same way! I think I must eat my words, now I have seen another cat sitting like that – is this position compulsory in this garden or what? Does it apply to squirrels too?!

Oh, here we go again, cat on the fence! Move please, I need my lunch.

Phew! Safe to come down.

The cat is probably going off to have yet another snooze, that’s all he does anyway.

Mmmmm, lunch at this restaurant is always a treat.

Wanna see what’s on the menu? Premium birdseed topped with sunflower seed. I love to eat here!

And of course, the seeds are not the only thing edible here, there are lots of new shoots coming up everywhere, I like rosebuds, camellia buds and last week I ate lots of newly emerging lilies, they were a real treat.

 But I must be off.
 
Got things to do, places to be.

I’ll be back!


- - - - - - -


I have been very busy lately so I am sorry if you have been here many times the last 2 weeks looking for a new post, I simply haven’t had time to write. And I haven’t be around to visit and comment on your blogs either, but I will get there eventually. I am busy making another book, this time it is a book in remembrance of my late father who died in February. And when I am not working on the book, I am busy in my garden. I might have to hire in some more guest writers at this rate! Until next time, take care.

44 comments:

  1. Well, Mrs. Squirrel, My cat lives on another continent, and she sits on our fence post the same way! So maybe it is a universal cat thing. You are very lucky my cat doesn't live with your gardener, as she likes squirrel for dinner better than you like bird seed!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, interesting to hear that your cat sits on the fence post just like mine!

      Delete
  2. Hilarious post, Helene! Squirrels do have such cute faces, you could almost be fooled into liking them but we know what evil lurks behind those innocent looks (destructive little rodents).
    My sincere condolences upon the death of your Dad but a remembrance book will help spark old memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Squirrels are terribly destructive yes, here in Britain the grey squirrel is classed as a pest and if you actually capture one (or several), for example in a cage, or even by accident, it is illegal to release the squirrel again – as it is a pest. I wish both of them (I seem to have a squirrel couple in my garden) could move on to pastures new!

      Thanks for your condolences, the book is a slow process but I think I am doing too many things right now. I guess I need to just concentrate on working on the book and leave everything else for a while. I have done that in the past too, with all the other 6 books I have made, just bury myself in the project - that’s how I managed to complete each of them :-)

      Delete
  3. What an entertaining post! Mr. Squirrel and that cat are very funny and totally adorable! So sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I think creating a remembrance book is an excellent way to heal and cherish his memory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your condolences, the book is slowly appearing on my computer, although most if it is still on my ‘virtual drawing board’ (i.e. my brain) :-)

      Delete
  4. Great post, we have 3 cats our neighbours, who like to inhabit garden areas. Such a pesky squirrel eating buds and bird food. I guess he has to get his meals from somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the squirrels need to get food somewhere, yes, I just wished they would go somewhere else! I assume my garden is rather tempting because it is well kept, which most of the gardens around here isn’t, and because I have lots of tempting food sources.

      Delete
  5. You can almost here the cats and the squirrel talking to each other. Beautiful photos of all of them, by the way! I'm surprised that squirrels would eat Roses, Camellias, and Lilies. I've never seen them do that here, but of course they mainly eat all the acorns and Hickory nuts. The rabbits take care of the Lilies. ;-) Your remembrance book will be wonderful, I'm sure, because of your gifts with writing, photography, and graphic design. A great tribute to your father. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth, the squirrels seem to eat any new shoots, although the male squirrel (Mr squirrel was not available on the day I had the photo shoot!) seems less interested in the bird seeds and more interested in my roses :-(
      Not much nuts around here in my garden, though there should be plenty in the park nearby - well, apart from unshelled peanuts someone puts out for the birds and the squirrels keep hiding in my flowerbeds and pots. Whenever I am planting something I dig up these peanuts, you could get the impression that peanuts grow here in Britain!
      The book will be available to see on Blurb along with the rest of my books once I am finished, right now I am working on collecting all material, which is a rather slow process.

      Delete
  6. Such fun this squirrel and cat story. I really do love the cute furry squirrel, I hope the sweet animal does not destroy your garden but I don´t think so, because you feed him or her with his favourite food in the bird feeder, so not necessary to look for other food except some snacks of rosebuds. Well, who cares, animals give so much pleasure to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do feed her – and him, I think it is a couple and that they have babies to take care of as I only see one at the time, I can clearly see the difference between them, the male is much bigger and has darker fur.
      But giving them bird feed doesn’t seem to stop them from eating new shoots in my garden, and losing lots of lilies was pretty hard, once the top is bitten off, that lily will not produce a flower this year. I have counted 8 lilies lost so far, but there could be more.
      But you are right, I do have fun watching them and taking photos, so I am not that upset :-)

      Delete
  7. I love your post and read it with a big smile on my face. It's great to have a animal like this in your garden. I wish I had one.
    Have a wonderful week ahead Helene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear you enjoyed the story, I am not so sure you would have enjoyed having the squirrels in your garden though, it is pretty disheartening coming out in the garden every day and see new things they have destroyed. I am only tolerating it because they look so cute!
      Have a great week you too.

      Delete
  8. I love the phoio of the squirrel looking over the fence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue, I am amazed how close it allows me to stand, I am so close I could have touched it if I had stretched my arm out. As long as I stand still and do no sudden movements, the squirrel is fine with that. I don’t have a zoom lens yet so I have to be close to take sharp photos – good thing the squirrels accept it :-)

      Delete
  9. I like the idea of the cat sitting on the fence literally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cat has been sitting on the fence on a weekly basis for the last 12 years :-)

      Delete
  10. I love the photos of the cats - yours and the neighbor's. They sit very interesting way! The squirrel is smart and dangerous for your sprouting plants, Helene.
    I've linked to your previous post when was writing about fuchsias.
    Have a nice week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nadezda, I am a bit tired of all the damage the squirrels are making, but it’s fun they are allowing me to be so close that I can take photos and movies too.
      I haven’t seen your fuchsias post yet, so many blogs to visit – so little time! Will try soon. Have a great week.

      Delete
  11. I still think that squirrels are cute. Perhaps I change my mind when they start eating what they are not suppose to. Yours is definately cute:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also have a mixed relationship with them, I know they are considered a pest here, but I don’t think I could manage to kill them, even if I could capture them. No, definitely not, killing them would be way too difficult. So instead I try to accept some damage and hope it won’t be too long before they find a different garden to visit!

      Delete
  12. Oh such a cute post, though I know those squirrels can be little devils! Your guest blogger seems to be making herself particularly at home in your garden! The cats are so cute sitting on the fence like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, yes, they are pesky creatures at times! I find it especially disheartening coming out and see the damage on plants that won’t recover. But they are a bit cute too, they are so used to me now so they let me come really close, I don’t have a zoom lens so I am standing only feet away.

      Delete
  13. You told a great tale there Helene - I'm sure you've captured her every thought! I'm not sure my cats would leave the poor wee thing alone and be happy sitting on the fence watching her.
    Not been around the world of blogging myself - I'm a bit disillusioned with gardening at the moment and taking a week or two off from it. Enjoyed this read though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a bit surprised that my cat is tolerating the squirrel, he makes some half-hearted attempts now and then to chase them, but not very often. I think he has learned, just as he did years ago with the birds, that chasing them was just completely wasted effort!

      Glad you enjoyed the post, I hope to catch up with everyone eventually but it will take some time for me too.

      Delete
  14. Hi Helene
    What a lovely guest writer you've got. Our squirrels are so shy that I haven't any chance to get a photo from them. I love your tomcat, he always looks so serious :o).
    Have a lovely rest of the week.
    Take care
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex, my cat looks serious when we are outside, especially when I put a camera in front of my face. When we are indoors he has a more relaxed, ‘smiley’ cat face.
      I’m not sure why the squirrels are so tame here, perhaps because it’s the same ones coming back all the time so they have learned there is no danger in coming close? They usually come straight away when I put seed in the bird feeder, it’s as if they are hiding somewhere, just waiting for me to top up their plate! If I sit on my stool close to the feeder they will allow me to film and take photos even if I am less than 1m away – as long as I don’t do any sudden movements.
      Hope you havere a lovely week too, take care.

      Delete
  15. Too bad squirrels are so trashy and destructive, as they're endlessly fascinating. Wonderful cat pictures you captured. Maybe you could enlist them as squirrel destroyers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee, I wish I could enlist my cat – and all the other in the area, but they seem very little interested in chasing the squirrels. Perhaps they have learned like with the birds that it is completely wasted energy, the birds win all the time!

      Delete
  16. This is a fun posting, Helene. Love your cat. I have lots of squirrels, but we use squirrel-proof feeders, so they spend most of the time on the ground under the feeder getting seed that has fallen there. We don't own a cat, but we encourage a neighbor cat. P. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam, I have thought of getting a squirrel proof feeder, but since the squirrels are eating my roses I was hoping they would be more interested in the bird food, so I moved it down in front of the roses. Unfortunately they FIRST go and eat bird seeds, and THEN they continue along the fence and eat some rose shoots afterwards. Not easy!

      Delete
  17. I think squirrels are adorable, and their antics are very entertaining. Is that a gray squirrel? I thought they lived here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a grey squirrel, or an American squirrel, as some people call them over here – they are not native to Britain, they were introduced by the Victorians in 1876 as a curiosity and no one could have foreseen how prolific breeders the squirrels would turn out to be. The grey squirrel is considered a pest over here and they carry a virus not harmful to them, but lethal to the indigenous, red squirrel population. We hardly see red squirrels anymore because of this, and in some areas of Britain they are completely gone. I had never seen a grey squirrel until I came to Britain, there are only red squirrels in Norway where I am from, so to me squirrels should be red, but in my garden there are only grey.

      They are entertaining but do a lot of damage in my garden so I would prefer not to have them there to be honest.

      Delete
  18. I have a variety of "squirrel-proof" feeders but I find that nothing can thwart the persistent, acrobatic creature for long - at least the bird seed diverts them from my blueberries (for a time). I give them free reign to take all the guava that want, although they tend to dig holes here and there in my garden to hide unripe fruit, which can be annoying. However, I would be indignant if they went after my lilies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must admit I was pretty devastated when I saw the chewed off lilies, I counted 14! Perhaps not that many since I have around 160, but the squirrels mainly went for the Stargazers I have in containers, and not the almost 100 Lilium regale in the flower beds - which I could have managed to share a few of! The thing is, once the lily has had its head chopped off, the growth is stopped and nothing more happen. The lily won’t grow up, won’t get any nutrition stored for next year and the bulb will die. So it’s pretty much a kill for each and everyone. And I could kill the squirrels! Well, not sure if I could to be honest…..I could set up a trap and get them into a cage, if someone came and picked them up, but I couldn’t kill them. Nope. And no one here is picking up live, trapped squirrels, if you trap them it’s up to you to dispose of them too – perhaps why most people just leave them to roam free!

      Delete
  19. Cute post! Do the cats ever catch the squirrels? My dogs will never catch a squirrel but will never stop trying, either. :o) The squirrels in my garden prefer my tomatoes, which they take a single bite of and then throw on the ground. Drives me crazy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cat never even bother chasing the squirrels, but he doesn’t chase birds either, at the grand old age of almost 13 I think he has learned that it is pointless even trying! I am not sure about the rest of the cats in the area, never seen any of them chasing them, or even catching any, I think the squirrels probably are too quick.

      Delete
  20. Glad to hear you are well and busy. The book sounds wonderful and your squirrel visitor is smart to stay clear of those cats. take care Helene!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna, sorry I haven’t had time to visit your blog lately, I have been so busy, I haven’t visited many other blogs either! I will try to do a round this week-end :-)

      Delete
  21. You have the cutest guest posters! Maybe you could send Mrs Squirrel over my way and she could do a bit of updating for me :) I love that last photo, you can tell she doesn't care and yes, she will be back...
    Your garden is looking beautiful and don't feel bad for spending more time in the garden than blogging... after all, that's what us garden bloggers spend most of the year dreaming about! Hope the book is going well too, it sounds really nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruth, the book is going well, but is a lot of work so still on a planning stage. My garden is busy all year round, but right now there’s a lot going on – I should probably blog more often so my readers could see some of the things going on, but I haven’t got time! You should see my Clematis ‘Niobe’ which started flowering last week, just beautiful – but I still haven’t posted a photo of it. Oh well, there’s always GBBD on the 15th !

      Delete
  22. Helene
    We have the same guests, but they don't seem to have the writing skills. Terrific shots and beautifully put together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alistair, the two squirrels that keep coming back here are so used to me now that they let me come very close, just a few feet away. Good for me as I don’t have a telephotos lens! They even come running as soon as I come out in the garden in the afternoon, as they know I will fill up the birdfeeder - they have obviously started to connect me with food :-)

      Delete