Apparently, we have moved from the rainy season in Ohio straight into the sweltering heat of summer. I had other things on my mind, so the two days that qualify as beautiful spring weather did not register with me. Whenever they happened to be.
The iris, which mom had given me several years ago, are finally blooming, beautiful and elegant; these showy blossoms range from pale salmon to deep purple. Vibrant yellow to creamy white and showy bronze are making appearances. I noticed over the weekend, mom’s flowers are standing straight and tall as if they were at attention while mine mostly seem like they are competing in a limbo contest, almost horizontal with the flower bed.
Our son Sparky has shown a keen fascination with these flowers, he very carefully examines each one, peeking inside before dashing off to his next adventure. I asked him why — and he responded with the baffling response that he was looking for the sleeping mouse. It wasn’t until much later when we were having reading time that I realized one of his books about a bunny had a drawing of an iris with a little mouse, sound asleep inside. Somehow, in his mind, those flowers are supposed to be bedrooms for mice.
The Hubs has finally had some success with catching some of the red squirrels who have taken up residence in our barn and garage. They have been industriously filling all my empty canning jars with walnuts from the tree in the back yard. At this point, I could probably fill at least a 50-pound feed sack with those stupid nuts and the accompanying mess. His previous attempts at catching those squirrels with various traps have been a bust, until he gave in and purchased a “humane” trap, it catches the animal alive for release elsewhere.
He had been muttering dire threats to these “fairy-diddles” for a couple of weeks and had several execution plans in place. But, like all best-laid plans, they went to the wayside. When he came into the house, pleased as punch because he had finally caught a squirrel, he invited us to see his nemesis. Sparky and I went outside and sure enough, a small squirrel, with stripes down its sides and eyes that seemed too big for its head, was pacing back and forth in the cage.
It glanced at us, tucked its head down and covered his face with front paws as though cowering in fear. Sparky took one look and pronounced “awww- it’s adorwable”. I grinned because now, the Hubs was in an awkward position. He couldn’t kill the thing and break his son’s heart and there was no way he was going to release it into the backyard. This is when he suddenly realized he was now going to be involved in the Fairy-Diddle Relocation Program for Invading Rodents. That’s right, he drove that dumb squirrel, and several more since then, several miles down the road and released it into a patch of woods.
Each capture results in Sparky admiring the creature while expressing the request to keep it. Every time, we bald-faced lie to this child that we are moving it down the road so it can be with the rest of his family. He takes it at face value, and I am content we are not shooting squirrels in cages because that doesn’t seem very sporting.
The Hubs is working on closing the holes in the eaves of these building to deter future generations of squirrels from creating chaos and possible fires from chewing on electrical wires. I have a sneaking suspicion it will be an ongoing battle of wits between the two species for a while. We will just have to wait to see who the winner will be.
Written and submitted by Sarah Roush for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.