Bigmouth Strikes Again

squirrel pumpkin 1

My squirrel is back. I’ve compared the markings and I’m almost positive it’s the same guy (yup, I sit, stalk and take notes on squirrels in my spare time). For the past three years now, Bigmouth, as I somewhat affectionately call him, has come to feast on my fall decorative display. I spend an unreasonable amount of money on pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, hay and decorative cabbage. This year there is all the more reason to rationalize the cost. We’re seven months into a global pandemic and a very scary election is approaching. And frankly, I just don’t care … thoughtfully arranging hay and pumpkins make me happy.

I wrote about the squirrels last year and mentioned some tips for outsmarting them. Three key tricks I learned:

  • Apply a polyacrylic finish to the pumpkins and gourds. This clear coat protects from decay and probably tastes really bad, so the squirrels will avoid it – mostly.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper on your pumpkins and gourds. Squirrels don’t like the heat.
  • Feed the squirrels nuts and sunflower seeds. The thought being, if they have food they prefer over pumpkin and corn, they will go for that first.

My friend Jimmy O’Brien sent me the most hilarious video on Instagram. He was passing by my house and caught Bigmouth gnawing off a whole piece of corn and then carrying it away in his … big mouth! This guy means business. We’ve found decimated corn cobs all around the house, including one particularly well-eaten one we can see in the apple tree! He has no fear and no care for his destruction.

As one would expect, this led me to wasting a bunch of time watching Youtube videos on training squirrels and domesticating squirrels, which soon devolved into videos of squirrels eating pizza. I did pick up some squirrel training tricks. It doesn’t’ seem too hard – put food out at the same time every day and they will come.

I’ve noticed black-furred squirrels when riding my bike down to Beach 9th. We don’t have them in Rockaway Beach up through Breezy, to my knowledge. Have you observed any? From research in years past, I know this is a recessive gene. While they differ in color, they are the same species – all Eastern Grays.

  • Before you dismiss squirrels as just another rodent, read below some impressive facts about these beautiful, intelligent creatures:
  • Squirrels can find food buried beneath a foot of snow
  • They can leap 10 times their body length and turn their ankles 180 degrees to face any direction when climbing
  • Squirrels can fall from 30 meters high, without hurting themselves.
  • Squirrels have superb vision, and they learn by quickly copying other animals.
  • A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing
  • They zig zag to escape predators
  • Squirrels may pretend to bury a nut to throw off potential thieves
  • Squirrels can eat their own body weight every week, which is roughly 1.5 pounds
  • With 285 species of squirrels, they can be found in every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
  • A newborn squirrel is about an inch long

squirrel pumpkin 2

Check out my column from last years here  and follow me on IG  to see videos of Bigmouth feasting on my fall display – @theglorifiedtomato

tagged in halloween, squirrel