Step 1: Baiting the Squirrels
I get rather sentimental about the birds and the squirrels right about now when the temperatures begin to drop.
So I fill the bird feeder with bird food and scatter a big bag of peanut-laden squirrel mix all over the patio table. Then I rush inside, but not before making squirrelly sounds with my lips to encourage all of the neighbourhood squirrels to partake in an epicurean free-for-all.
I only expect Black and Grey Squirrels.
But today a very nervous and quick Red Squirrel darted about and did a little dance before shooting over to the bird feeder.
I think he's nervous around the larger squirrels.
Red Squirrels are preyed upon by Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis), coyote (Canis latrans), great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), northern goshawk (Accipiter gentiles), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), American Marten (Martes americana), fox (Vulpes vulpes), wolf (Canis lupus) and weasel (Mustela sp.) and it is believed to some degree by the beagle (Beaglus beagly).
I'd be pretty nervous with that cast of carnivorous characters waiting in the wings.
I am fond of Red Squirrels. They're pugnacious and boisterous and gutsy and brave.
I think I'd like to be a Red Squirrel one day. Maybe in another life, at least for a while.
Monty and I watched the whole circus from the back window - Spring swung by to watch us watch the squirrels. My canine companion could only sit and think of the many ways he would eat the squirrels. Baked. Grilled. BBQed. Sauteed. Fried. Deep-fried. Boiled. Parboiled. And in a very special way - in a comfit.
The squirrels stuffed themselves with peanuts and sunflower seeds and all other treats, and would from time to time hop about the snow and furiously bury some of the food.
Smart little critters. But maybe not that smart. You see, this might just be the first step towards gathering the ingredients for a recipe for braised squirrel - the baiting.
They get nice and comfortable with all this easy food. Soon they just might be eating out of my hands. I think I have some nice thick bacon in the bottom drawer of the fridge, all ready for seasoning the little critters.
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