By Mir
September 29, 2010

Fall in the south is awesome. And by “awesome” I mean “nearly nonexistent, what with the summer temps well into October save for a few moderate days when we fling open every window in the house and scream ‘IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, QUICK, BREATHE IN THAT TEMPERATE AIR!'”

As I slide into my third fourth (math is hard!) Fall here, I find myself experiencing so many of the same emotions I’ve had in the past few years: The giddiness at the first chilly morning; the urge to bake again, now that it’s cool enough; and the justification of “sampling” the cornbread I made for dinner just to, you know, make sure it’s okay.

And then, of course, as I peek into my crock pot, bubbling away with hot and hearty food, I inhale a mixture of spices and the breeze, and my gaze drifts out the window, and once again, there’s an overgrown rodent chomping on my deck. Apparently Fall is time to EAT MY HOUSE. And for me to become irrationally angry about it.

The next time I see him (I chased the offender away, slotted silicone spoon in hand in case I needed a weapon), I’m letting Licorice go after him. Maybe she can gum him to death, teaching squirrels everywhere a lesson in… um… NOT DOING THAT.


  1. Stephanie O'Dea

    I just like it that you’re using your crockpot. :-)

    gopher stew, anyone?

  2. sassymonkey

    I was out on our deck last week and a squirrel yelled at me for thirty minutes from the maple tree. Stupid rodents. But I guess at least it’s not eating my deck.

  3. Beverly

    The squirrels used to gnaw on my parent’s house wooden siding. They were told that squirrels teeth constantly grow so they chew on wood to file them down. I think they got a capsaicin (hot pepper) spray or oil to put on the area. Not sure that would be the best for your deck though if you think Licorice might also lick the area.

  4. RuthWells

    The damn things ate ALL of my garden tomatoes this summer. Very bitter.

  5. Midj

    BB gun… PING! We hate them here, also, and my husband is constantly lamenting the fact that I won’t let him use the BB gun on them. But you are in “Jawjuh” now and they may, in fact, allow it… ;-)

  6. Megan

    Ugh. We’re still in the 90’s here – NINETIES. As in, hottest September ever in the history of ever. As in too hot for Guinness stew, and too hot for baking bread, and WAY too hot for hiking dammit. THIS is why I’m moving next year… and why I am googling ‘coldest climates on earth’

    Oh way… this wasn’t all about me and my sad, sad life? huh.

  7. Jessica

    One of life’s pleasures is opening all the doors and windows in the house to let that delicious breeze in!!! Oooh I smiled just reading that first paragraph.

    Sorry about your squirrel problem. My aunt used to have a pet squirrel and she loved cheese. Don’t know if that will help you any. LOL

  8. Rachel

    When my neighbor’s golden retriever was a puppy, he used to chew on their deck posts. They bought some spray (apple bitters?) that is meant to get dogs to quit chewing, sprayed it on the deck & he quit chewing (the deck at least). Maybe it will work on the squirrels too? And, it will be safe if licorice licks it too. = ) Check petsmart, petco, or your local pet supply store.

  9. Katie in MA

    I wonder exactly how many blog posts you would get out of the deal if you taught Chickie and Monkey to use pellet guns? :-)

  10. Mamadragon

    Hey, could be worse. My neighbour’s father just asked to borrow our live-trap to try to capture a giant SKUNK that’s been terrorizing their neighbourhood. If you’re going to have pesky rodents in your yard, I think squirrels are one of the more benign options.

  11. Ann from St. Peter MN

    It is going to be nice and cool here in Minnesota this weekend – and I am thinking about making beer-cheese bread again (the best recipe – thanks!). Too bad our small town was hit by many inches of rain last week and three of the major routes out of here are under water. That certainly doesn’t seem fall-like! Can’t really go anywhere without a major effort. Some warm bread and butter is just what the doctor ordered… MMMmmm!

  12. diane

    I put a cute wreath on the cute little chair I put out on the porch in fall. Said wreath was decorated with silk leaves and styrofoam pumpkins. Came home the other day and wondered “What is that white stuff on my wreath?” as I got out of the car. Got closer, and realized the little scamps had chewed half the dang thing away.

    Have I mentioned that there is a HUMONGEOUS horse chestnut tree in the strip of land between our sidewalk and the street, and as a result, our block is squirrel nirvana? Little creeps sit on the concrete steps up to the walkway to crack the shells, and leave the dang things laying there for us to step on. I guess going after the styrofoam pumpkin was less trouble than cracking a shell.

    The only good squirrel is a dead one.

  13. Melody

    Welllll…you could invite the neighborhood cats back into your yard. My neighbor’s cat has gotten two squirrels already…I never see squirrels on my deck now that my cat goes outside most days. I won’t talk about the fact that one of my three cats is boycotting the litter box in favor of a corner of the dining room. Yeah…there is that.

  14. Aimee

    It was 109 here in San Diego on Monday. Not humid, mind you, but rather like I imagine it would feel inside of a convection oven. I was bedraggled, but comforted myself with Jane Austen: “Such dreadful heat we are having! It leaves one in a continual state of inelegance.” If Jane couldn’t be elegant in the heat, surely I cannot be expected to best her.

    As for the rodents… I got nothin’. Does the hardware store carry some sort of “Squirrel-away” product that you can spritz on your deck? Can you banish them by playing a particular kind of music, like they did with (I think) Noriega?

  15. elz

    We call them tree rats. They actually come into our garage and eat the cats’ food. And the cats LET them. Stupid cats.

  16. Brigitte

    @ Megan: . . . Guinness stew? Sounds yummy, forget squirrels, I’m off to Google the stew now!

  17. Molly

    Ah yes, the battle with the squirrels. I know it well. Good luck winning and if you do, you must share just exactly how.

  18. Heidi

    Squirrels don’t like Super Soakers, no siree. There’s a particular satisfaction in unloading a torrent of water on an offending squirrel.

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