Squirrel Wars

There's a turf war going on in our back yard. It's been pretty mellow for the first few weeks, but things are starting to escalate. I'm starting to worry about walking beside the fence - I don't want to end up in the middle of a battle! And all the fighting is about some - well a whole tree full - of apples.

There's a huge apple tree in our neighbor's back yard. The branches are full with small apples - full to the point of breaking. And I know why all the squirrels in our area are fat... They are fighting over the apples big time. I've seen a few scrawnier squirrels run out of the tree, still clutching an apple in their mouth. The bigger critters are guarding the apples very carefully. And when they're not fighting, they are harvesting. The squirrels are constantly picking the best apples and tossing them to the ground. Or the metal roof of the shed below the tree. The apples land with a huge thunk that sounds like someone is throwing rocks at the house. We got up and looked around the first few times we heard the apples falling. Now we just know better.

But the war is heating up - last night, there was a fight right outside our window. I'm not sure what was fighting, but it was loud and it was in the apple tree. I haven't gotten outside to look if there's any fur or anything near the tree. I'm not sure I want to know - the squealing sounding like something being attacked. And that's why I'm a little concerned about walking next to fence! I don't want one of those squirrels to take offence that I'm there and decide that the turf war needs to extend to humans.

We've also had a few other animal encounters because of the apple tree - but these are animals the squire ls aren't going to take on. There is at least one - but we think two - yearling bears that are feasting on the apples already on the ground. Nick and I saw one of them a few weeks ago, right in the middle of our neighbor's yard, just munching away. Nick scared him off with the air horn so we could walk to the car... And two days ago, a really fat buck decided he needed to take a nap - right in the middle of our front yard! I kinda worry more about the deer then the bear. The deer should be scared of us and could cause some serious damage with those hooves and antlers. The bear just laughs and ambles away when he sees us.

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