Saturday, 19 November 2011

Missing in Action

For the last two weeks our Reds have been MIA. After the nut-burying frenzy of October where three of the darling little creatures took it upon themselves to empty the feeder at least once every day, sometimes twice, all of a sudden the visits stopped.

It's always a major worry when we don't see the squirrel for a while. Have they been killed on the road, have greys come into the area? We knew there were no visits because the feeder remained sadly full and untouched.

Until this morning. Breathing huge sighs of relief all round. Just one visitor, and only for a few minutes, but a glorious sight in the autumn sunshine.

Also missing in action this week has been small Hobbit. Taking advice from physio VERY seriously and cutting back completely on load-bearing work (which basically means doing no gardening at all). I didn't really mind because I've had some snuffly, achy, brain-fog bug all week and have spent an significant amount of time crashed out in front of the TV and wood burner catching up on gardening programmes I'd recorded but not watched.

Normal service will be resumed . . . at some point . . . probably.


  1. We haven't had as many birds in our garden recently either. I guess it's a seasonal thing

  2. Hello. I'm puzzled at your fears that the appearance of grey squirrels would impact your reds. Here grey, fox, black and North American red squirrels are all over the property. Some mornings I share breakfast (coffee for me, bread crusts for them) with as many as 12-14 of the little devils. There are plenty of pines for the reds and a plethora of oaks, maples and nuts trees for the others. There's not a day goes by that they don't make me laugh at least once. Hope your reds stick around!

  3. A good rest won't do you any harm little hobbit! It's been the weather for being missing in action here. Cold, grey fogs, not pleasant. I paid my first visit to the allotment for a fortnight yesterday to prune raspberry canes. Everthing was dripping wet and covered in leaves from the adjacent ash tree. Take it easy.

  4. Hi Sue, reassuring to hear that, thanks.

    VH, were you pruning autumn or summer raspberries? Wondering when to do my autumn ones. Am resting "lots", thanks.

    Kris, the imported American grey squirrel threatens our native red to the point of extinction. The grey out competes for food (won't give you the complicated detail, trust me, it's not a case of 'there's enough to go round') but worse, the grey carries the Squirrel Pox virus which is deadly to Reds. Think myxamatosis but nastier, and certain death for any infected Red.

    You are welcome to your greys, all 3 million of the sodding little tree rats. Please come and get them (I'd offer to help them pack but a gun would be preferable to a suitcase). More information here:

  5. Whoa! Sorry. Had no idea that greys were invasive imports over there. My apologizes. :-(

  6. Hi Kris, apology absolutely not necessary, why should you know?

    Unfortunately when Man meddles with Mother Nature, problems like this often arise. They were introduced to England in the 19th century - dratted Victorians - because some rich landowner thought they would look cute on his estate. Grrrrrrr.

  7. I hear you. And there's a lot of 'old world' species (flora & fauna) running amok over here. We both just have to deal. *sigh*

    I've been reading your blog for a long time and your projects and progress truly amazes me. I always look forward to the next post. :-D But take care - hope you shake that bug soon and take time to rebuild those muscles. If you're like me, you're wanting to go 'all out' getting things tucked in for winter (which, they say, will be as bad as last year - boo hiss!).

  8. Sorry about the bug - hope it soon disappears.

    Surely the squirrels are beginning to hibernate for the winter - I know they don't do so completely but I believe they come out less.

    Wish I had a Hobbit in my garden - I have plenty of toadstools for him to sit on (and eat at).

  9. Welcome back reds! Let's hope this is the first of many.

  10. Assuming that you are up to light pruning detail, cut down all the canes of your autumn razzies when you get bored of the them looking straggly (and when you have eaten all the remaining fruit).

    Take the opportunity to dig out any 'stray' canes that have spread. Raspberries do a good line in world domination if you let them!

  11. Phew! how wonderful to see red squirrels. You are so lucky.

  12. Thank you to everyone for comments, sorry it has taken me an age to reply.

    Kris, thank you for coming out of "lurkdom" and saying hello.

    Pat, I am sure there are many creatures who have not gone into hibernation yet, far too warm.

    James, all fingers and toes crossed!

    Hazel, thanks for the raspberry info. Ours are still fruiting so no hurry to cut them down.

    Matron, time you and Leo had a holiday in Cumbria?


Thank you for leaving comments, I love receiving them; sometimes they are the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . 😊