Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Haunted by Mr. Shadytail

© 2010 Joshua Stark

We have a gigantic walnut tree in our back yard.  It produces great, big, wonderful walnuts, which I've used to make nocino and green walnut catsup, as well as eat raw (when they ripen).  This year has been hard on it, what with the sustained winds we've had, as well as the huge rains and hail (last week we got a couple inches of hail in about 20 minutes - it was insane).

But by far the biggest headache for our walnut tree is from the squirrels.  And it's a literal headache sometimes, too, because they actually drop walnuts on our heads.

Really, they drop walnuts everywhere.

The squirrels marauding our tree are the non-native Eastern fox squirrel, which means we don't need a depredation permit to "control".  In fact, it is illegal to live-trap them and move them somewhere else precisely because they are a non-native, and invasive species.  Brought here around the turn of the last century for ambiance in the parks, they now run the show.

So, if you have any good squirrel-deterrence measures, please let me know.  For the record, we are dealing with a 65 ft. walnut with a 100-ft. spread, against a fence, and touching an 80 ft. redwood and a jungle of camphor trees.


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