Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Snow Birds & Squirrels


I am trying hard not to come unglued on one of my neighbors. But he is really on my last nerve.

One of the things that I enjoy most about living in the mountains is the wildlife. That includes birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. We used to feed them, occasionally, on our deck, but the neighbor said to quit doing that, as they were a nuisance, so we quit doing that a few years ago. For a while this summer I enjoyed sitting in my favorite chair on the second floor and watching two little squirrels chase and play on the tree outside my window. They were tiny, and had a great time running over the rocks, across the bridge and up and down the trees.

That was before my neighbor decided to shoot them with his air gun. The other day I was shocked to hear a gun go off and the bark of the tree in front of my window flew off as he attempted to kill a squirrel behind our unit! I ran outside and asked him if he was shooting again. He said no. He denied it! I said someone was shooting again (we have had this discussion in the past), and he said he hoped they got a squirrel. (I see him hunting in the bushes all the time.) Discharging a firearm in an incorporated area is illegal, and he knows it. Every time I hear a gun retort, my heart starts hammering. It scares the $#%@ out of me!

I haven't seen the two tiny squirrels, or any other creatures in weeks. The nasty old bat is cleaning out the area. Now the birds are avoiding our trees. And the really strange thing? He is the only one with the problem. None of the other people in the complex ever complain about having squirrels anywhere near their units, nor have they had any damage. He is irritated that they drop the sugar-pine cones and eat the seeds. Isn't that what nature intended? I might add that it is all natural habitat behind our condos, it isn't manicured in any way. One lady, down the way, also used to feed them, and has been asked not to. It's like he is attracting them, with his negative squirrel energy.

I can't wait until he heads back to Florida in a month.

I wonder how many people there are looking forward to his return?

Ghaaaaaa

50 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

That makes me so sad. If I were in your position, I don't know what I would do.

The wildlife was great at Tahoe. I saw bunnies and chipmonks and squirrels and even a baby bear, not to mention all the birds.

Why do people like to shoot and kill living beings? I don't get it.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Hi Nancy:

It really is upsetting when our neighbors' ignorance disturbs our quality of life, and beyond that goes against some very basic human values about respect for life.

How come he can dictate to others about not feeding squirrels and no one is dictating to him to stop shooting at them? (Except you, that is!) Isn't there a condo board that would be upset to hear about airguns?

Nancy said...

Reya - He says they are a problem with chewing up pine cones on his deck, digging holes, and dropping the heavy sugar-pine cones on his roof. All of which is total $%#@. He told me he has three squirrel guns and always killed them in Kansas. I told him he no longer is living in Kansas - but he's unconscious to the issue.

Bonnie - We are having a condo meeting this Sunday. I intend to bring it up.

Nancy said...

aww thats sad, I'd never shoot one myself, I just dont think I could. Our cat caught one once when she was a kitten and didnt know any better.

Do they make a big mess in your courtyard? The squirrels in our yard (five of them right now) eat EVERY LAST NUT in our walnut tree. Every few years the squirrels end up becoming so large of a nuissance(sp?) that the city sends out someone to get them. I dont know where they take them but we could not in all honesty just let them take over (last time they did this I counted 27 squirrels in my trees alone...the neighborhood had HUNDREDS.
A handful of squirrels dont really bother me until fall when they eat the nuts, make it impossible to be in the backyard with no shoes on (they make a huge mess of shells everywhere that are then ready to cut your feet!!) We clean up the yard for company or the kids and in an hour...more messy shells leaving black goo everywhere!!! Ug!

So I know they can become a nuisance but I dont support anyone trying to shoot them, thats just being a stupid hillbilly. You should say to him, "are times so tough you need to hunt squirrels?" Way too radical for me.

ellen abbott said...

Nancy, why do you let him dictate to you about feeding them? You should have told him you were sorry he doesn't like them but that you do and you intend to go on feeding them. And then every time you hear his gun go off, call the police and tell them someone is shooting a gun and that you suspect him because he has told you that he does. Maybe if he gets enough visits from the police, he'll stop.

Nancy said...

Nancy - I know they can be a problem, but there are not many here. He just sees them all as a problem. I think he just doesn't have enough to do, and this is something he has always done. But now we are living here, as opposed to only visiting a few weeks a year, and he just doesn't like changing his ways. Seriously, they are not a problem, not anything like what you are talking about.

Nancy said...

Ellen - I quit feeding them because I knew he would hunt them down, so I quit. We are at that stage right now, where we had a big blow-out yesterday and I said if I heard another gun shot I would call the police. He said he used to have friends in the police department, and I thought - so what! It's illegal to shoot in an incorporated area. Period.

Brian Miller said...

and one day our ancestors will wonder why they are all alone on a barren ball of dirt...

Nancy said...

Brian - Unconscious people.

CrazyCris said...

damn!

you should set out a camera trap for him! keep your camera handy and try and get a shot of him with the gun... then tell him if you ever hear a shot again you'll give it to the people in charge of the co-op or the police and have him fined!

grrrrrrr...

by the way, beautiful photo!

Nancy said...

Crazy - Good idea!

Valerie said...

That's awful. I'd get proof and have him arrested. He's breaking th law, it's as simple as that. Squirrels don't make a mess where I live. I love to watch them gamboling on the lawn.

JeannetteLS said...

My dad waged war on squirrels at our birdfeeder. He squirted them. He would make Rube Goldberg contraptions to discourage them. He would sneak up on them and yell. He felt they were the scourge of his existence, until he found one had died, probably from misjudging a leap from one tree to another. My dad had a burial for it. He actually had tears in his eyes and I was floored. A week later he was at it again, and I realized it was a grown up tag, that's all. He would sooner have shot himself than a squirrel. It was simply a game. I cannot look at a squirrel without smiling, all the while I curse them for digging all the false holes to store acorns.

I don't get it. I just don't get it with some people, why they must kill the critter to preserve WHAT? A bunch of seed? Just in CASE one wanders into an attic? I'm with you. I would want him to be fined for the gun--not arrested, but just really inconvenienced.

Expat From Hell said...

People who live in glass houses....in Texas, they would just get shot back. Pretty quick how they learn when they start losing their own windows. Squirrels are part of nature, and I think you are right on the money about taking care of them. It's their earth, too. However, they can be murder on a roof. If you are really anal retentive, like old farts who live in Florida, it's a tough life. He doesn't belong there, Nancy. Sooner or later, he'll understand that. Or get hit by a bus.

Love the post. Still you draw our feelings into the mix, don't you?

EFH

Nancy said...

Valerie - I love watching them, too. And this is a wild place - not a lawn!

Jeannette - I agree with squirting, or things that you can plug in that emit a high-frequency sound, but using a gun is just not something I will tolerate. It is a quality of life issue, and it's unnecessary.

Nancy said...

ExPat - Thanks! The funny thing is he proceeded to tell me that was how they dealt with them in Kansas. I told him I was fourth-generation native Nevadan and my father (a hunter) taught my brother - if you kill it, you eat it. He came off of ranches and believed animals had a right to live, unless they were needed for food. He understood the food chain, and the importance of all living things. Every area in the country has its own mores, and ways of dealing with things. Discharging a fire-arm is illegal in the incorporated areas of the state. Whether he likes it or not.

TheChicGeek said...

The mean squirrel hater! Grrrrrr! Boo...Hissssss!!!
I hope he goes back to Florida early!

Meeko Fabulous said...

Nancy! I have the perfect solution! Get a crap load of birdseed and find a way to dump it on his roof! He'll be surrounded by birds and squirrels. Do you guys have ants out there? Sugar trails to his front door should do the trick too! :) Yea . . . I'm that neighbor . . . The one you don't want to mess with. Passive aggressive is my middle name. LOL!

Artful Lawyer said...

Just happened upon this blog...

and I had, or have, the same neighbor.

Though mine is 90 and now so infirm that she is having a hard time getting around (THANKFULLY that stopped her shooting at pigeons). I've told my husband 1) if he hears shots from her side of the yard, hit the deck and 2) next time I'm firing back (joke, joke, of course, though my 12 gauge would make a much bigger and more lasting impression than her bb gun...).

Morons.

"Jo" said...

Love this post.

"They were tiny, and had a great time running over the rocks, across the bridge and up and down the trees.


That was before my neighbor decided to shoot them with his air gun."

Wonderfully written, really. Although I don't think squirrels shoot be shot, or any living animals for that matter (bugs may be squished every now and then), this really made me laugh.

I'm sorry for your loss of... eh... squirrel pleasure.

Jeff D'Antonio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff D'Antonio said...

Tell your neighbor that the squirrels were here long before we (humans) were, and that perhaps we (humans) are more of a nuisance to them than the other way around.

Or shove a dead squirrel carcass up his butt and tell him to stop shooting them.

Your choice.

Nancy said...

Chic - We can only hope...

Meeko - LOL!!

Artful - He told me he had three "squirrel" guns! Now tell me he needs three - just in case there's an invasion? He can arm us all? :-) Thanks for stopping by, and keep down if you hear the pigeon lady out on her deck.

Jo - Thanks for the compliment. :-)

Jeff - I'm praying that he will be a gentleman, and now decides that if it upsets the neighbor (me) so much, he just won't do it. Please God..... (or either one of your suggestions.)

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Where in Florida? We'll warn the squirrels!

I've never understood people like that. Never will.

The Good Cook said...

Oh I would soooo call the police. Guns? I hate guns.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

What a creep! Why don't people like that move into a highrise in a city somewhere? The little boys that live next door were shooting at my dogs over the fence with air guns a couple of weeks ago. Their mother made them stop when she my daughter told her about it, but now I'm paranoid about them doing it again. I'm sure she didn't take their guns away, and as they say boys will be boys. They'll grow up to be like your neighbor at this rate. I would have to take matters into my own hands if the birds left my backyard. We have so many hummingbirds, I've never seen so many.

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

He's a bitter, bitter man. Maybe a squirrel stole his toupee when he was on a hot date and he is seeking his revenge!

Muahaha!

Sylvia said...

You are SO lucky to live in that world! Don't let such beauty be lost!

GYPSYWOMAN said...

oh, girl, i think we've all had that same neighbor and/or a variation thereof - poor little critters - perhaps his next life is meant to be that of a squirrel - and have to live in the trees around his clone's house...it is so true that what goes round comes round! bad karma begets bad karma -

Ambiance in the Attic said...

Nancy,
I know how wonderful it is to watch the wildlife. We live on Lake Conroe in Texas with woods on 3 sides of our house. In the back yard we feed the deer that come by daily. This morning, the doe with 3 fawns that still have their spots came for a visit, We also have rabits and squirrels that love to run and play. God is so magnificent to share these creatures. I hope you will get to enjoy yours again soon!

lakeviewer said...

What? People move to the woods and complain about wildlife? Let them return to their manicured lots.

JeannetteLS said...

Been thinking about the squirrels... I want him more than inconvenienced for SHOOTING at them. Excuse me. I was trying not to be too judgmental, but I just changed my mind. It stinks.

~JarieLyn~ said...

It really gripes me when I hear people saying these animals are a nuissance and making a mess on their homes yards, etc. when we are the one's who invaded their homes.

Melissa said...

Oh No, I live in FL, I hope he stays away from me. We have all kinds of birds and squirrels in our neighborhood.

Good luck to you.

Kate said...

can you say "R E D N E C K" ?? Makes you just want to put a firecracker under HIS butt!

GooseBreeder said...

Oh how awful, thank goodness he's going to Florida, is it permanent? what a horrible problem to have and it is one I'm familiar with with our neighbour and the cockatoos,similar thing.Just remember karma!

robert said...

Isn't there any local authority, one could inform, that would take care of it, e.g. taken his guns away?

Marlene said...

I would call the police...no exception..let them deal with him..he legally can not shoot a gun there..what a ignorant fool he is...I have a women next door that wants me to stop feeding my birds and squirrels..because they bury the nuts in her yard..said also it drawns mountain lions to our area feeding them..unbelieveable! we all moved here to a rural town to be near wildlife..i just don't understand.

Barry said...

Like Reya, I don;t get it either. How frustrating to have such a neighbor. And scary.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am of the opinion that he should at least receive a fine for discharging his weapon. Let's just hope he doesn't resort to poison that could possibly hurt pets, too. You can't fix stupid.

DJan said...

Whoa, Nancy, did you ever ignite a firestorm here! 40 posts by the time I got here, and it was just a few hours ago I checked...

I've got birds and squirrels because of the tree outside that they make their home in. I am not enamoured with the squirrels, especially, but I like to watch them play. If they come up on my porch often enough, I squirt them with a spray bottle. They still come up at least once a day to check to see what the birds dropped off for them.

Until one day they didn't come, I didn't realize how much I would miss them if they were gone. I've got two adults and three teenagers who hang out behind the barn sometimes. They came back and I told my husband how surprised I was at how attached I had become to the little critters.

Hope this guy leaves soon, for your sake, and the squirrels. I would have turned him in to the cops, for sure.

I have been grumbled at because of the mess my birds make on my porch, but I clean up after them twice or three times a day; nobody should have the right to tell me what wildlife I can or cannot feed.

Marguerite said...

Hi Nancy, I think it's a crying shame that this guy does this. I'm with Crazy Chris and think that you should get a picture of the crime in action. Better yet, a video and not tell him about it, and then present it to the condo board. At least he's leaving soon. Cheers!

Nancy said...

Thanks everyone for all of your support. We ended up having an argument - something I just hate to have happen with neighbors, but it was unavoidable. Our condo association meets on Sunday, so I will bring it up then. Hopefully it will be a calm conversation, and it will get resolved. We live in such a pretty, serene place, I really want to keep it that way.

Celeste Maia said...

What a nasty man, an animal hater, I bet he lives alone and is a very unhappy person.
The place where you live sounds wounderful and wild. Here in Madrid I have "my" park with lots of birds, many ducks and a few squirrels. The park keeps me in touch with nature. It is all I have in the big city.

Rain said...

omg Nancy....that is heartbreaking. Can you call the cops on him? Even if they don't catch him in the act, maybe that will make him stop? Or at least make him paranoid enough not to do it. I hope the month goes quickly and you have some peace. I really despise humanity at times. Poor little squirrels...

luksky said...

Seems that everyone must have at least one crazy neighbor...I have a couple myself. Poor wildlife...

Mental P Mama said...

That is horrible. Can you report it to anyone. I hope he stays in Florida. Jerk.

Pam said...

This makes me so sad. I wish there was something you could do.

Lily said...

Perhaps a letter signed by everyone! This guy needs to know that he is alone on this one. Do you have an association?

California Girl said...

Hunting season is always changing around here and we hear gunshots all the time. I usually call the police. We even had hunters coming up our private road and were told by the police we had to post it with "No Hunting" signs because our "Private Road" sign was inadequate. So, now we have NO HUNTING and I call the cops who don't really care but I do it anyway. Guns scare the shit out of me and I don't need a bunch of yahoos in my area killing my cat or dogs because they think it's a moose or whatever their feeble minds deteermine. sore point.