Squirrel damage

We’ve never exactly appreciated the squirrels that live in our neighborhood, but this year they seem especially mean.

This sunflower already had its top bitten off, and the rest didn’t last long after this photo.

sunflower sprout

An entire evening primrose was pulled out of the ground, stem by stem.

four evening primrose stems lying on the ground

This white coneflower, which bloomed this year for the first time, was snipped off near the ground.

a wilting white coneflower with three blossoms lying on the ground

I was especially annoyed that the squirrels were damaging our flowers for no good reason: they weren’t even eating them. But then they turned to the vegetables, and I wasn’t any less upset even though the food was being eaten.

A chicken-wire fence, which stopped the rabbits, wasn’t enough to deter the squirrels from picking the tomatoes. So we had to add another fence to the top to the garden, which makes it a challenge for the humans to harvest the tomatoes and kale.

half of a green tomato, and a whole green tomato lying on the ground

Earlier this summer, when the squirrels were ripping up the squash and gourd flowers, we fenced them all in, which stopped the damage – but we eventually had to remove the fence because the vines were too constrained.

At one point, we had two acorn squashes. One disappeared completely, and the other ended up with a good chunk eaten off the top.

acorn squash with lots of little bite marks on the top

Same thing with this yellow squash. They also got two zucchini, but I don’t have the photo evidence because I was too busy rescuing the untouched zucchini to document it.

summer squash with a hole eaten out of the top, with chunks of the rind lying nearby

There were at least five gourds at one point, each distinctly different in appearance.

a small, round green gourd

Two disappeared, one is now just a fraction of a rind, and a few scattered “crumbs” were all that remained of the fourth.

the remains of a green gourd

After this week’s gourd and squash damage, we re-fenced our one pumpkin and one remaining gourd. Without a top to the fence, though, I fear it’s just a matter of time before they’re gone too. At least we have tomatoes and kale!


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