Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Squirrel Antics

While I was in Portland last week, we visited the amazing International Rose Test Garden. They had a nice little snack stand, so I purchased some peanut M&Ms to hold me over until dinner. About that time, along comes the most obese squirrel I've ever seen!

Photo courtesy of Natural Gardening who was also at the conference.

He, of course, spotted my treat and lumbered over to see what he could coax out of of me. Now, I was raised not to feed the animals and especially squirrels (rabies, anyone?), so as he got closer and closer, I realized he wasn't going to stop. I had visions of squirrels at Historic Bok Tower (I'm going to add that this is also the highest point in Florida) where the squirrels are actually so aggressive that they jump on your leg. I also had a flashback to elementary school when a squirrel attacked my best friend and she had to get a rabies shot. So, of course, I'm backing up and weaving in and out of people to get away from him. He would get distracted for a few minutes, but ultimately would find me in the crowd and come my way. Someone finally fed him some crackers and he left me alone. Everyone then thought he was really cute and continued taking pictures of him. I wasn't going to get close enough to get a picture, so I had to borrow one. After we got on the bus, I actually had one old lady say to me "was that you the squirrel was chasing? That was so cute!" I didn't think it was cute. And, fat squirrels like this sure don't endear the species to me.


Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

very funny

erin said...

squirrels are evil. i had one drop out of tree almost on my head on stadium road once...7:25 in the morning, my freshman year...traumatic. :)

Emily said...


Squirrels are my least favorite rodent, I think. Just for stories like these.

AlliJean said...

wow that squirrel is prepared for winter. I remember when your friend got attacked by the squirrel... it made me very cautious of the little buggers for a long time!

Emily said...

His belly almost touched the ground when he walked and that wasn't food in his cheek pouches. He looked like that when he was chasing me, too!

lkw said...

At least it wasn't any of us garden writer types that fed this fellow!

We WERE guilty of taking his picture, though -- I wish I'd managed one of the crowd around him.

This is definitely the biggest ground squirrel I've ever seen....no shortage of food for him. I can't believe that he actually chased you!

Squirrels (of all sorts) are way too adaptable to urban life -- cute, but troublesome in abundance.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I was in Belgium earlier this summer. I was amazed by how common, and prolific, rose and flower gardens were over there. I attributed in part to a celebration of summer (winters are long) and the generally overcast weather and very old (and gray) structures: flower gardens were a way of cheering it all up, and radiating sunshine even when the clouds were overhead.

If that's true, Oregon would be a rose "hot bed" of sorts ... but I'm not sure if my reasoning is correct?

Lucy D. Jones said...

What IS it with those Bok Tower squirrels? They really are something, something not particularly good.