Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vegetarian vampire squirrels on my balcony


OK, so I sorta stole that from my amigo Robert Tres. But this is a true story.

I got home yesterday and one of the plants that had been growing happily in a pot in our urban garden on the balcony had been decimated. The baby lettuces had been neatly snipped (as it turns out, eaten) off the plant.

I asked Mr. RK, "Did you harvest this plant?"

He looked at me like I had asked him if he wanted to roll around in a bowl of jello. (He doesn't eat vegetables unless I force him by threatening to withhold sex.)

So then we tried to figure out the veggie eater...it wasn't a bug, because there were no holes or small nibbles. The leaves simply vanished, sad-looking stalks left behind.

Could it be a squirrel?

Do they eat lettuce?

I'm a suburban kid and don't know much about wildlife.

If it was a squirrel, how the fuck did they get up to the balcony? Did they build an elevator?

Mr. RK said, "Perhaps they have croutons waiting back in their nest. Perhaps a young male squirrel suggested this as a spot for a hot date and a salad."

I have to eat crow because I was e-mailing Lynn about tomato plants. She said squirrels can sometimes eat them and I thought, "Ha! No worries about that, I live on the second floor."

Famous last words.

So I really am curious. Do you think they used our balcony (and our plants) as a salad bar?

Now, I have a halfway decent chance of finding out - not because I am setting up a web cam, but because my good buddy Mike D is also curious and is going to do a little experiment for me. Namely, he is going to leave some lettuce outside of his house in Connecticut and see if they eat it.

Oh yes - one more thing. I asked Mr. RK, "Should we put up that metal netting to keep them out?"

"No," he replied. "You should share."

16 comments:

Darth Weasel said...

I will say this...second story means nothing to a squirrel. They can find ways to the most seemingly inaccessible locations.

Aliceson said...

Little pricks! They always wait until the veggies are almost ready to pick too...

Fireblossom said...

This is obviously the work of Valquirrels, fearsome winged rodents who escort dead vikings into your apartment complex. The lettuce is used in their strange Nordic ceremonies held in the furnace room at midnight.

G said...

Man, squirrels eat anything.

I put out bread for the birds in my front yard.

They eat it.

Put out a birdseed bell.

Frickin' idiot (singular) ate the damn thing until I caught him and gave him what for.

Squirrels....the perfect personal pan roadkill pizza.

Ily said...

A kleptomaniac vegetarian vampire squirrel probably did it. (Cute photo, btw.)

I'd definitely bust him with a web cam and post your results here.

I do think it's freaky that he/she would take the whole thing rather than just nibble at it. Maybe you actually have one of those old ladies (like the one who lived across the street from me) who steals garden plants and vegetables.

whatigotsofar said...

Did you know in Spain you can go to a pet store and buy a pet squirrel?

LL Cool Joe said...

We had squirrels in our loft. Trust me they get in everywhere! I killed them with rat poisoning. Sorry to all you animal lovers out there, but the little bastards were chewing through wires, pulling up floorboards and pissing in the water tank.

The noise at night was unbelievable too. It was like having a Paris Hilton party in our loft. Mind you I think it would take more than a bit of rat poison to get rid of that rodent.

Patty said...

Squirrels are pigs and will go to ANY lengths to get free food. Birdfeeders and lettuce patches are merely pit stops on their never ending life cycle of hoarding food for kingdom come. The only validating fact for me is that they have planted several oak trees on my property.

Lynn said...

Oh easy for Mr. RK to say - Mr. not eating vegetables. :) Squirrels should be eating other things, not our vegetables. Hmpf.

My neighbor was wondering what was happening to one of her hanging plants - the tops seem to be snipped off. I caught a squirrel red handed - he was sitting in the hanging pot munching away. I gave him a heart attack when I walked up.

Mike_D said...

Never fear, I'm on the case....

Or something.

RA said...

Squirrels can easily climb 6 stories high, but I'm not sure they are into vegetables. Unless fitness mania has struck them too! :)

Holland said...

Mr. RK is smart... of course you should share because he knows that the little thiefs just broke a veggie barrier between him and a loving night in your arms... yeap smart man indeed.

Mama Zen said...

If they can run on the power lines, they can get to the balcony!

Logical Libby said...

Have you ever read Bunnicula? At least they aren't just draining them of juice...

Granny Annie said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot do battle with squirrels. They will win every time.

駱李淑華明欣 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.