Squirrel! Squirrel!

I sometimes wonder at a squirrel’s mentality. Does he think at all, or simply react to survival needs? The Douglas squirrel is a regular around here… one or two of them come by periodically to investigate the state of our birdfeeder.

BirdfeederLast spring the bears demolished the feeder that had attracted a good variety of birds as well as fed our squirrels, so this winter my hubby replaced it. The one he chose is touted to be squirrel-proof, and for the most part, it is, but it’s almost bird-proof, too. It lacks the surrounding cage that would provide a toe-hold and has much smaller perches, large enough only for chickadees and juncos. They reach into the tiny openings to extract their morsels and there is virtually no spillage for those who normally would forage for leftovers on the ground below.

Was our squirrel deterred? Of course not. He leapt from the railing, only to find nothing to grasp and thus fell back to the deck. He climbed the side of the house and jumped across to the rounded and slippery plastic top. When he reached over the side, he slid off and landed several feet below, on the ground.

squirrel 1

He came via the roof next time. He disappeared briefly into the gutter and reappeared right over the birdfeeder. He leaned precariously out towards it, but it was still out of reach. So he readjusted his position and instead, clinging to the plastic edge of the gutter with his feet, grabbed a chunk of the nearby suet and clambered back into the gutter to enjoy his snack.

squirrel 2

squirrel 3

squirrel 4

There’s a writing application here.

Determination coupled with persistence pays off. You may not always get what you originally hoped for, but if you keep trying, success in a different form may be within reach. Give up and you’ll get nothing.

My ‘One Word’ for 2013 is DETERMINATION. I will be reminded of it every time the squirrel comes to visit!

Have you chosen a special word for this year? What will it take to motivate you when you need renewed effort to reach your goals? 


You might enjoy this YouTube video. It’s one in a series of four which provide a fascinating study of a very determined (or perhaps just very motivated) squirrel.


And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction,
that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
Romans 15:4

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

14 thoughts on “Squirrel! Squirrel!

  1. Carol, what this reminded me of is the on-going battle my brother fought with the little darlings to keep them from the bird feeder. I bet you know that is a losing battle. Thanks for this post 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s not worth the effort to try and keep them away. I don’t mind if they share the birds’ seed, as long as they leave some for the birds. We’re thinking of getting a second feeder like the old one to accommodate both.

    1. That’s a good description, Susan. We felt sorry for him and bought another birdfeeder today… one he can share with all the birds. 🙂

  2. Outstanding shots, Carol. Really amazing! My word is BELIEVE. I also like Dream. Hmm. Dream and Believe. Believe and Dream. Yep, works for me.

    1. Believe is a great word, Joylene! And a little dreaming can be a good thing, too, if it goes hand-in-hand with some action to make what you believe actually happen. 😉

  3. Part of the squirrel’s determination is the fact that he has a one track mind. FOOD is his word. The word I chose this year is SIMPLIFY. Since I can’t make 48 hours in the day, I’m having to cut out things that aren’t needful to my goals for the year.

    1. Perhaps if I had more of a one-track-mind I’d focus better and get more accomplished!

      ‘Simplify’ is a great word. Our lives always seem so full. I hope you’re able to carve out the extra time you need.

  4. What a determined little critter, lol. Great pictures, and a great analogy!

    My word this year is “courage” — writing-wise, this means courage to TRY, to tell my stories, to write from the heart, to not fear things like failure or criticism or, y’know, public humiliation. 😉

    1. Hmm, can I edit that? I don’t think I really fear those things. I think I’m mostly just afraid of not meeting my own high expectations. And therein lies the need for the courage to try….

      1. I know about those high expectations. They can be devastating. ‘Courage’ is linked in there somewhere with my ‘Determination’ because without both I’m never going to succeed as a writer. Unfortunately I don’t have the guts to ink either word on my arm (or anywhere else)!

  5. LOL, it can be etched in your mind instead. Just as effective and perhaps a tad more sane. 😉

    Yes, courage and determination definitely seem to be linked. Here’s to a year of courageous and determined writing for both of us!

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