Our wrestling with the squirrels is really a family affair. It all began when my folks moved from rural Connecticut to Maine 40 years ago. Back in Connecticut, one of our kitchen windows looked out over an old well, no longer used except in August to water the garden, since the word was that the water was ‘bad.’
That well had a four foot stone casing and a wooden cover and small roof overhead. It was just tall enough so squirrels couldn’t jump up on it or from the old apple tree that overspread the well and our concrete terrace.
My mom and dad would put bird seed out on the well cover and if you stood at the sink, washing dishes or getting a glass of water, you could see the birds come to the seed spread cover – chickadees and the occasional cardinal as I remember.
Then my folks moved to Maine. They didn’t have an old well outside their windows any longer, but they had a deck – a second floor deck – and my dad would spread the bird seed on the deck railings, along with some suet.
Enter the squirrels. They hopped up the deck steps, jumped on the deck railing and helped themselves. This annoyed my dad so much, he bought a Havahart trap, put a dab of peanut butter on the inside, and waited.
Squirrels love peanut butter. Soon the first squirrel arrived, bopped into the Havahart, nibbled the peanut butter, and bang! Dad had caught his first squirrel.
When he drove to the post office for the mail, he put the trap and squirrel into the trunk, and took the squirrel to the transfer station, about a mile and a half away.
That was the first squirrel.
There would soon be more. Many, many more.