Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Change Of Heart

I've written often about the scavenging squirrels that invade our bird feeders...the red squirrels, locally called boomers, are particularly pesky, fearless, obnoxiously chattery and persistent...click here to read more...and though they are cute, I've taken to chasing them away with a squirt gun.  It only works for a while (their persistence is admirable) but I squirt on for as long as my patience and time will allow.

The other morning, we were sitting on the porch having breakfast, and along comes a boomer.  I started to chase here away, when we noticed she was hopping in an odd fashion. I suddenly realized right front paw was gone!

Needless to say, we became quite concerned for her (she looks like a her, but we can't know for sure).  Here's where our change of heart came in...I went to the bird feeder and took out a small handful of sunflower seeds to place on the floor at the end of the porch.  Initially she backed off, but then came back and enjoyed her easy access breakfast.  Then Johny went in and got her a pecan fresh from the shell...he put it up on the railing and sure enough, she jumped up and nibbled quiet adeptly with one paw.  I have to admit she is the only one we have softened up to, the other 2 boomers still get squirt gun shot at and chased away!

Today her injury appears to be healing although I noticed her left thumb (I don't know what it's called) is also missing.  She keeps coming back for the little nibbles we leave for her, and now that we have a soft spot for her we will keep doing so.  We've even named her Noarm and are training her in a Pavlovian method...you know, call her name, put out the nuts, back off and see if she'll come..so far, she has.

We keep wondering what happened to her, but she's a trooper boomer and seems to be bouncing back beautifully.  Nature is amazing...survival of the fittest...obviously a very strong and adaptable boomer, in spite of missing a limb!  She's out there scavenging for most of the day, and only stops by in the mornings, so though we may be spoiling her a little, I don't think we are doing her harm by making at least one meal easy to come by.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Judi said...

I understand the change of heart, how can you not care for something injured right! ~ We too have a squirrel with a missing back leg who seems to do just fine ~ we've wondered how it happened and thought maybe even he/she was born that way?? ~ Judi

Dad/Pepere said...

Love your heartwarming story and the kindness that you and Mountain Man are showing Noarm. Reminds me of the 3 baby squirrels mom and I raised for 6 months. Mom would actually come home from work to "bottle feed" the babies. Of course, we did not know at the time, but we were in training for you as we had to get up every 2 hours during the night to feed them. We loved all three of them and even had them riding in the car with me. I would take them to memere Dalpe's house and she loved seeing them. Unfortunately right now, I can't remember their names.
Thanks for the memory of mom and the squirrels. Hugs!

Lise said...

Judi, nature is amazing the way it copes! I know ours had some sort of accident or something might have been trying to make a meal of it, because we could see the injury was fresh. She's still doing well!

Dad, was a great story. I do remember you telling me about those squirrels! Hugs back