Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NATURE NOTES - frog and hungry squirrels

Once again I had to rescue frogs from the deep window wells we have in our garden at the side of the house.  This time I believe I actually saved the same frog twice in one day.
My bad for releasing it close to the windows.

  The other interesting challenge I am having now is that I realized I am growing my beautiful sunflowers right next to 'squirrel highway', i.e. my back fence.

Now that the plants are as tall, or taller than the fence the squirrels are simply snipping off the flower heads and running away with them.  What you do not see in the photo above are flowers, when you should be seeing these.

Sometimes they even drop them and I find them lying in the grass. Do I have clumsy squirrels?

I am thinking of trying tinfoil on top of the fence, I have heard it is good to keep pets off of furniture so maybe it will work for squirrels too!

Any thoughts on how I can stop the squirrels from using the back fence as their highway without hurting them?

Wednesday update: I implemented feedback I received from the Facebook group "An Honest To God Gardening Group" and placed "Critter Ridder" (that I already had in my garage!) along the top of the fence at each end for about 4 feet. 
We shall see.

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Sharing with Nature Notes

12 comments:

  1. your link at Nature Notes 'hub' is a broken link by the way.

    I especially enjoyed viewing the sunflower. I've never seen any so rich and vividly burnt orange like this one you shared.

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    1. Thanks Anni, I hvae reported at NN.

      Stay tuned for more photos of Sunflowers. I have red and burnt orange and of course various shades of yellow bu the autumn blends are my favourites too. I never knew they existed until I found their seeds online.

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  2. I love squirrels and when I first read "squirrel highway", I laughed out loud -- I ever thought or heard of that before! But it's terrible that they are destroying your truly gorgeous sunflowers. You have a really pretty fence as well, so you have no need to completely hide it (with shrubbery) and you wouldn't want something ugly to deface it. But is there a temporary barrier you could place atop the fence just for the sunflower season? The first thing that came to my mind was a thin board (ugly) but even a temporary bit of lattice right behind and above the flowers might deter or prevent the squirrels' destruction? Or would they just climb over it? At least for any solution you entertain, you could try it on a small section first to spare yourself unnecessary trouble and expense. Good luck! I'm happy for the frog, by the way! :)

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    1. Thanks for the awesome feedback Anastasia. Whatever I try I will definitely test it in stages and hopefully only have to implement it at each end.

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  3. Derek-What beautiful sunflowers and a great yard you have. I can see why the squirrels are liking it too. How thoughtful of you to have sunflowers right at feeding level for them. I have no idea how to help--- except next year plant the flowers just a bit more away from the fence. It will be certainly more entertaining to watch the squirrels have to jump to their food. Thanks for stopping by my place. Happy gardening.

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    1. I don't want to move the sunflowers further into the yard so I am hoping to find another way.

      Surely I can be as innovative as a squirrel!

      ;)

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  4. I can't help you with squirrels - we battle them all the time here! Thanks for linking up to Garden Tuesday!

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  5. Let your frogs save themselves from your window wells by placing a stick (or long piece of wood) on an angle from the bottom across to the top. Toads and frogs will climb out all by themselves (or at least they do at my house where I have loads of toads). That way they also don't have to wait for you to be rescued.

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    1. I will give it a shot. They don't really like to be corralled into a bucket.

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  6. Hi Derek.. I wanted to thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comment about my post on being "normal" again. It is the new normal now and I have to adjust to that.

    I had never heard of Critter Ridder and had to look it up. As my late friend who rehabbed squirrels used to say, "It is impossible to keep a squirrel from being a squirrel." I have sunflowers and the birds are taking the seeds from them and I am sure that the squirrels would if they could get to them, but they can't and besides I have cracked corn for them in the yard. I honestly don't think anything would keep them off of a natural running area as it is like a tree branch and there is safety in height. I will do some research and see what I can find. But this time of year is when the hormones go off that says "get ready for winter". If you have chickadees or nuthatches, they make take some seed and cache it away for the winter. What do they know that we don't I wonder?

    The sunflowers are lovely and I enjoy mine as much as the bees and birds do....Michelle

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    1. Michelle,
      I certainly wouldn't mind if they waited until they were ripe and then took some seeds, but it is this decapitating of the plants that is getting to me. If only I could make them understand that they could have the seed heads once they aren't pretty anymore...

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