Tag Archives: flying squirrel

Visits and Visitors

16 Apr

Since Wednesday each morning I go visit and care for Sarah, and elderly, blind-in-one-eye, black rabbit.  Yesterday she sat on my lap while I combed and plucked out much of her hair that is falling out due to the season change.  She is mostly skin and bones and spirit.  But a very nice spirit.

Wednesday evening Linda and I heard Noboyuki Tsujii in concert.  What an extraordinary treat!  He is only22.  He is blind. He learns all music by ear.  He played the Mozart Sonata in C major, Beethoven’s Sonata no.17 in D minor, op.31, no.2 (Tempest) and Mussorgsky”s Pictures at an Exhibition, complete. His playing is incredibly nuanced.  The music sings.  But as a mother I worry about his physical being.  His back is curved and rounded like an old man’s; he has little evident muscle tone in his torso.  What pain lies ahead…

Thursday Rocky, the flying squirrel came to stay with us while his family are on vacation.  This morning he explored my knitted vest and rested in the folds of my nightgown and the towel basket while I was getting dressed.  He lives in an aquarium in the bathroom when he comes here, the better to not fall afoul of large teeth.

Yesterday a new Hellebore and a small pink lilac– Sugar Plum Fairy– came home with me, thanks to a birthday gift from Mom M.  They are both in the ground now.  It is supposed to rain and be high strong winds here today. 

Jake, son of Jeni, comes to town with his crew team this morning for a race.  Will they still hold it if there is a storm?   It is nasty out there right now.

We are due to go to L and M’s this morning.  There is a two-day old calf to see and a hanging steer to cut up.

Recently finished reading Portrait of a Turkish Family by Irfan Orga.  What a wonderfully written memoir.

It inspired me to seek out another memoir: Carla Grissman’s Dinner of Herbs.  Another incredibly wonderful book.  Am quite sad to see that Ms. Grissmann died just a couple months ago.

Free At Last

8 Apr

When last we joined the confined flying squirrels, they were living in an insect cage:

What a mess!  They thought so, too, for they chewed through the hardware cloth and would crawl between it and the wire mesh, trying to find a way out:

Or attempt a heist, in this case hazelnuts from my aunt.

But yesterday, in addition to being my younger brother’s 50th birthday (Happy Birthday Charlie!) was the first real spring-like day, and a day Jay had off work.  So in the middle of the afternoon I uncovered the sleeping squirrels and removed them from their sleeping sweater:

Transferred them to the blue bird box.  One picks them up by the scruff of the neck. They had significantly chewed the edges of said box so their sweater was used to plug the holes for transport to the woods behind Mom M’s.  Jay thought that would be a good spot as it is predominantly hardwoods.  The gray squirrel population there was reduced somewhat by Daren this winter. (Remember my Christmas present?)  He figured there would be suitable empty holes in trees for housing.

A view of their new home area:

Their box is tied to the sloping pine tree.  Their sweater is on top.  We scattered all the rest of the food we had in stock for them around a 100+ square foot area. And put some in the box, too.

The first flying squirrel to come out is the brave one who always came out first for everything new.  He came out within the first three minutes after the box was up. Ran up the tree and around and around, testing out the numerous holes available.  His coloring is perfect camouflage.

The second squirrel jumped out a few minutes later and immediately ran/glided off and found itself in an old pen.  It easily escaped and scampered off.

The last little squirrel, the one I think is slower than the rest because it is the one which got hit on the head by the mouse trap, refused to come out while I was there.  It seemed to be having a fine time just sniffing and looking.

God speed!


Nine and Less Than One

10 Mar

So, this year it took about nine days for the forsythia to bloom from the day they were picked and brought in. They started blooming last night and by this morning were almost in full bloom.


On the other hand, it took less than a day for Pounce to realize we had moved the flying squirrels upstairs to the enclosed porch to start getting them acclimated to the outside temperatures and light cycles.

Single, Sunny, Still, Songs, Spiral, Squirrel, Sauce

3 Mar

Single digits but sunny.  And no wind; a wondrous stillness.  Yesterday was a howling whipping wind day.  On top of the thick crunchy sugar crust of snow is a light dusting that fell before the wind.  That thin layer looks like a fine painting this morning: fine brushstrokes covering the surface.  Wind work that artists try to imitate with feathers or fine hair brushes.  And through all the whiteness bright crystal sparkles of reflected light.

Even with the bitter cold, the birds are singing.  It is light earlier and later.  The Northern Mockingbird was at the feeder yesterday.  And the Brown Creeper returned to the suet tree. I had never seen one before last week.  It uses it tail as a support and spirals only up, flying down to work its way back up the tree.  Hawks, crows, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, finches, woodpeckers, the creeper: all are sounding off that spring is coming.  On the road trip last week we saw a pair of yellow-shafted flickers and some turkeys.

Our pussy willow is exceptional only for a few of its branches rather than its gray pussies.  Those are wide and flattened at the end with buds sticking out on every surface.  This one is best–a spiral.  The photo does not do it justice.

I have been contemplating moving the flying squirrels up to an enclosed porch to enable them to acclimate somewhat to the outside temperatures.  I didn’t think it would get into the single digits again.  So not yet.  But they continue to have to work for their food.  I give them whole English walnuts.  They chew one hole and eat some of the nut, then move to another nut.  To encourage them to do better, I put only as many nuts in as have been more thoroughly eaten.  This entails them chewing another hole to get at the other end.  So now I have a few necklaces worth of squirrel-slave-made “beads”.

Jay thinks they should be made into a garland for the Christmas tree.  I think maybe necklaces or buttons?  Each nut needs to be sanded.  Maybe strung with other large beads?

Isaac saw a gray squirrel on the feeder yesterday.  I saw a squirrel– could not tell the color–red or gray–crossing on branch tips from spruce to spruce outside our bedroom window this morning.  The same window Banner used to visit and come into our room through.  Sigh.

Daren harvested five grays Tuesday for me.  We were having guests for supper that would appreciate game.  I boiled them up yesterday morning.  They were noticeably smaller; the meat lighter and more tender than the big ones he gave us at Christmas.  Five yielded about 2.5 cups of meat.  It was ground up and went into homemade sauce for pizza.  Squirrel pizza.  Yum!  Quick sauce recipe: three large cloves garlic, three shallots (bought five pounds of them in the fall–must use them!), a medium onion all chopped fine and cooked in butter.  Add one quart home canned tomatoes (a red-Sungold mix), spices, extra frozen basil, salt, pepper, the rest of the ajvar and the ground squirrel.  Cook for a bit.  Really marvelous.  It got my 20-yr old out of bed.  Well, not until 10.30AM.  But he said he smelled it all the way upstairs.

Piecing tips and flying squirrel

22 Feb

For those of you not busy with trigonometry or learning Chinese, those of you who like me are inside at 9AM on a sunny morning waiting for the temp to rise to the double digits before walking the dog, I found a quicker way to make the curved pieces for the new quilt squares that are like unto a double wedding ring.  The whole idea came from the lady who writes comfortstitching.  she calls this a pickle dish pattern.  But it is not, really.  More on that later.

Her directions have you piece widthwise cut trapezoids onto the curved paper.  I am not very good at it, as you can see.  This morning I discovered it is much easier for me to sew nine pieces together and then pin the pattern (I cut mine from newspaper ads that came to our home by mistake) on the pressed section and cut.

By 9AM I had cut trapezoids from several new colors and sewn and cut the next eight curves for the next block.  Without having to piece little bits here and there to make up for edges that did not meet.

Oh, and played with the visiting flying squirrel. Didn’t you know?  We offer some of the finest flying squirrel accommodations in town.  This is Rocky.  You remember him as a baby last fall, right?


Squirrel Again

6 Feb

For supper tonight we will go to Mom M’s.  I am making dough for pizza; before church this morning I made sauce; last night the last bag of squirrels (Christmas present from my BIL) was boiled.  The meat from four of those squirrels went into the sauce for the pizza. (Shh, don’t tell Isaac!) Hawthorne loves the backbones, but I fear the little leg bones are too sharp so he does not get those.

The three flying squirrels in the basement got their cage cleaned to celebrate February.  What a messy bunch they are!  I removed about a gallon of detritus– half  emptied nut shells and corn pieces, dried up bread and wrinkled apple cores.  Of course, where were they to put it all?  Under and in and behind their bedding and box and sleeping sweater.

When I visited Mom’s yesterday there were six more giant grays out on the feeders.  Since I took the last of the Christmas squirrels Daren now feels he can shoot more.

What Jay Caught Last Night

27 Dec

Jay has been trying to catch some thing that has been taking bait from traps above the kitchen: apples, raisins, peanut butter, corn. He thought maybe it was a squirrel.

A few weeks ago he caught a flying squirrel in a rat trap.  Since then,  a mouse trap kept being sprung and the bait taken so he put a small live trap up there.

The bait was removed from the live trap and it was sprung.  Next he put a baited mouse trap inside a baited live trap.  Both traps were sprung, and the wood of the

mouse trap chewed.  I got worried that maybe we had rats.  But they do not like heights.

Then, this morning he caught something.  He hung it in the live trap over the wood boiler to warm it out.  Then we moved it to semi-permanent large cage

quarters where it will have to live until spring and warmer weather.

The flying squirrel came out from the bird box filled with a soft sweater to eat walnuts.  We got to pet it.  Which will not happen again, I think.


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