A Three-Course Meal

Last year I battled a squirrel who decided to feast like a gavone on my amazing pumpkin and gourd display. I documented his “vandalism” on Instagram. One follower recommended coating the pumpkins and gourds with clear polyacrylic. It worked for about two weeks and then the gnawing continued. He showed no mercy! As the weeks went on, my anger subsided and I  grew a fondness for the little guy (or shall I say, chubby guy.) I looked forward to seeing him on the porch while sipping my morning coffee.

This year, he’s back! Squirrel’s first attack was on Halloween. I was working and wouldn’t be home to give out candy to the kids. Not wanting to disappoint, I left Snickers, Kit Kats, and Milky Ways on the porch in a big red bowl. The thought crossed my mind, “Maybe one kid would take it all!”,  but I wanted to put the treats out regardless. What I didn’t expect was for one squirrel to take it all!


Oct. 31- Eats Halloween Chocolate. 

My husband came home later in the day to find Squirrel feasting, caught chocolate-handed!  More than half the bowl was gone as the culprit ran away carrying a Kit Kat in his teeth! Over that weekend I found Butterfingers hidden on the side of the house and in the front garden. I didn’t have the heart to throw them away. I left them for Squirrel to find and enjoy during the colder months.

His piggery didn’t end with Halloween. Next up on the menu was my decorative corn. I bought beautiful corn stalks from Lisena Garden Center (12-5 Cross Bay Blvd, Broad Channel), with bright yellow corn, 5-6 on each stem! The pop of color looked so nice on my porch with the rest of my seasonal display.

One day after securing the corn stalks to the front columns near my entry, Squirrel started chopping away! Bits of corn leftovers lay all along the front steps. Birds appeared and joined in the eating frenzy! I could almost hear David Attenborough narrating the natural ecological experience! While my corn was quickly disappearing, the cobs itself were red, and that still looked pretty cool. 

cornNov. 2 – Corn decimation, before and after.

Squirrel is fearless! He continued eating the corn hanging on with his feet while I approached him, only abandoning his bounty when I got two feet away. He finished both stalks in two weeks. 

But he didn’t stop at a mere two courses. He was ready for a third – the pumpkins. They’d been out as long as the corn, but it seems squirrel food preferences run in the following order: chocolate, corn, pumpkin. I have a thought to buy nuts and see if he’ll eat those over the pumpkins. After all, isn’t that Squirrel’s food of choice?

squirrel 1Nov. 12 – Claiming ownership of the pumpkin

My squirrel and the ones in your backyard are Eastern Gray Squirrels. That also includes the darker grey and the rarer black-colored squirrels. I hate that these cuties get a bad rap. They are true New Yorkers, mischievous and resilient. These animals have an excellent sense of smell which is why they can find their buried Butterfingers throughout the winter, even under the snow. In NYC, Eastern Grays can live up to 5 years. In rural areas, up to ten years and in captivity, squirrels can live for 20 years!

Let’s embrace our squirrels rather than disregard them as pests! They are beautiful to look at and entertaining to observe!



tagged in fall, squirrel