Monday, June 21, 2010

squirrel baffle

update at the top

surgery monday at 7:30 am. no 2nd path report yet, but it's all gotta come out anyway. BIG scar.

post and feeders in new location with slopier metal baffle and plastic bottle insurance.

all of you who have bird feeders know about squirrels. they are industrious and persistent about getting to a bird feeder. when we saw a squirrel in the tray feeder we knew that my homemade baffle had been defeated. we assumed that the little fellow had jumped from a nearby rock to the top of the baffle. what to do but move the post holding the feeders. i put that post in place. i didn't use concrete but i did put it in a 2 foot hole, dug in very rocky hard clay, and pack rocks around it and pound them tightly in place. not easy to undo, but i am good with leverage and managed to unearth it. so. dig another difficult post hole and reinstall the post and attach the feeders.

within 2 or 3 hours there was the squirrel in the platform feeder under the little roof. we chased it away and then watched. the little monster climbed the post as far as the metal baffle, no surprise, and then reached out enough to grab the edge of the baffle and scrambled up over it to payseed. so i adjusted the baffle to have more of a slope. while we were watching to see the jerk's next attempt robin was researching squirrel baffles online and found a suggestion to use plastic pop bottles, in our case seltzer, to wrap the post, denying the big-tailed rat any purchase. we chuckled as we watched the dastardly seed thief attempt to climb the pole and slide right off and down. the plastic bottle material is flexible enough to wrap around the post and hard enough to frustrate the wily rodent's claws.

so far no squirrel in the feeder.

plastic bottles recycled into a squirrel foil. check the reflection.

in other news: i still have colon cancer. the 5 cm mass in my sigmoid colon is definitely malignant. the "unusual appearing but exophytic lesion, about 3 cm in the proximal transverse" was reported as non-malignant, but the colonoscopy doc wanted a second biopsy report. both things have to come out, but maybe not at the same time. so we wait.


  1. F N cancer. F N squirrels.

    More love to you.
    Straight from the heart.

  2. You are so clever to defeat the squirrel -- the first person I know of who has done that! What a great idea! As for the cancer, I'm holding good thoughts that you and the doctors will deal with it as well as you have the squirrels! Hope your week goes well.


  3. Merry summer solstice you two.

  4. that sucks. hard. and not in a good way. loving you both. xo

  5. defeating the squirrel is always provisional. ya never know when one will overcome the baffle. i'm good so far. i suppose "defeating cancer" is always provisional too.

  6. Cancer? Still? Oh, bother!!! I was hoping it was all just a bad dream.

    I love the reflection in your nifty squirrel defense...let's hope the seltzer bottle will prevail!

    Ya think an empty seltzer bottle could help with the Gulf oil spill? Wouldn't that be grand....

  7. The waiting till the cancer is actually tackled is the worst. Hope they get that stuff out soon.

    My attitude about squirrels is that if you can't fight them--feed them. They are such clever, athletic creatures but it looks for now you have out-clevered them.

  8. Can't tell you how many hours my husband has spent building one creative squirrel baffle after another. And those beady-eyed little devils eventually work around them. Good luck.

    Still having positive vibes here for you and for Robin.

  9. (((roger))))


  10. great work on the squirrel-defeater! our bird feeder is hung from the eves of the house, in a spot too far for squirrels to jump. we also have 2 largish dogs who like to chase squirrels, which cuts down on their antics.

    sorry about the terrible frustration of waiting. xoxox

  11. They are a pain, but I sure wish I could climb like the squirrels do.
    Meanwhile, hang in there. Do whatever things realy bring you joy.

  12. Sending love to you and robin. Hey, you baffled the squirrel! I am picturing a cancer baffle now.

  13. That's a unique level of frustration - having the pathology report, knowing it's there and what it is, and waiting to get it taken out so you can see where you go from here.
    Keeping good thoughts for you, Roger.

  14. Clever (provisional) squirrel baffle! Let the chewing begin! Maybe they'll just give up and go for what's on the ground.

    BTW - I love those big rocks in the background!

    Sure hate to hear the malignancy discovery, roger and Robin. The waiting at each step must be very wearing. My thoughts are with you.

  15. I hope you get a positive path when you see the surgeon today. On the squirrel, we have had good luck with the live trap and we take them about a mile away to a burned out house up the hill where they can find shelter (and all reunite) if not have a bird feeder. They are sure fat from our seed.

  16. good job on the feeder.

    I know you will do well after the surgery.

  17. wow! what a simple and clever idea.

    roger = 1, squirrel = 0.

    i predict the same score with the cancer.

    hang in there.

  18. My blog reading has slowed to a glacial pace (ten years from now, kids will ask, "Mommy, what's a glacier?") so I'm late here with praise for even so much as slowing down the little monsters, never mind stopping them! I'm impressed.

    I posted your idea to the LittleHouses listserv. One guy replied that he uses plastic bottles on the bird feeder, and they work for the grey squirrels, but the red squirrels eat right through them. He also suggested to me, because I said something about only putting the feeder out when my dogs are in the yard, that I hang the feeder from a tree using wire, put a baffle part way down that causes the squirrels to slip off and fall to the ground, and let the dogs have fun chasing them. Of course, Isla would just sit underneath and bark her head off.

    At the moment, she's barking at your cancer. Maybe she has the gift of healing.

  19. Big scar not worth thinking about. I can testify that scars fade, and besides, you and Robin can just not look at it. If necessary, smaller higher mirrors in the bathroom should take care of that. Wishing you both as well as can be,

    and thinking about this modern business of worrying about strangers, even if they are strangers who figured in a decision that changed my life four years ago. (4th of July, 2006, and you were there in my mind...)

  20. Hoping you defeat the cancer as easily as the squirrels.

    We have a baffle on a metal pole that tips when touched. So far . . .


  21. re the update -- sigh of relief, that you'll just get it all done that one time. xoxoxo

    glad the waiting for a plan is over!

  22. I don't think the surgical scars are as bad these days. I have an 9 inch long one that isn't too impressive as scars go. I think they used that glue or tape that they use to stick you back together, but there were also staples - but just little things. Anyhow, I know you're not worried about the scars - just about getting things underway. I'm glad that you don't have too much longer to wait now.

  23. As the squirrel goes, so goes the cancer, foiled for good.

  24. roger, you might not be able to play the violin after this. just like before. and also your swimsuit model career may be over, before it's begun. you'll probably lose that spot on a team headed for the superbowl. NASA says you're grounded from here on out. ;)

    i think you and robin will do just fine, wrangling this thing. if you run into any trouble, you've got lots of backup.

  25. Be well's thinking of you; both of you on Monday and all the days it takes to heal...

  26. I'll be thinking of you both tomorrow and praying that all goes well.