“Not On Our Pole!”

Saturday morning found me sipping coffee, scrolling through emails on the iPad, wondering how the day would unfold when suddenly out of the corner of my eye, a movement in the backyard made me dash to the window to verify my suspicions. I think I saw a squirrel!

Side note: I know many you are thinking, what’s the big deal? We have squirrels and they are annoying. Let me explain, we moved to this house about ten years ago, and we have never had a squirrel in our yard or trees. Our house was built on a farm field, so there were no trees, therefore, there would be no squirrels.

I caught a glimpse, but quickly moved to another window to get a better view. I could not find it. I looked for any motion, but all was still. In my fuzzy pink bathrobe, I went out to the patio hoping to discover where it went. I was just curious to see what the squirrel would do. No luck. I returned to the house.

A few minutes later I glanced out the window to discover the squirrel was checking out the bird bath. This time I had my camera ready, but it quickly scampered from the bird bath to the viburnum bush. I watched the bush, zooming in, but could not find the rascal.

Suddenly it leaped to the top of the fence and headed across the green space behind our house. Sadly I thought there would be no picture of this fuzzy fellow, but wait! It is climbing the power pole! Up, up, up it climbed. What will it do when it reaches the top?

Up, up, up, it continued until it passed a bar where two birds were resting. The birds immediately attacked the squirrel. The squirrel didn’t know what was happening! The birds flew and screeched. I’m sure the message was loud and clear, “You are not climbing our pole!”

Immediately the squirrel retreated, scampering down about six feet. There it froze, head down, spread eagle on the power pole. It stayed in that position for at least ten minutes. It got the courage to try again, but the birds fought it off. More birds came to help the original two. The chatter was quite loud, I can only imagine the language they were using.


Finally, the defeated squirrel abandoned its idea of climbing the pole. It scooted down the pole, shook its tail, and scampered off to the neighbor’s pine tree. The squirrel’s attitude said, “I didn’t really want to climb that pole anyway.”

Close up of the squirrel trying to decide what to do.

Close up of the squirrel trying to decide what to do.


18 thoughts on ““Not On Our Pole!”

  1. Elsie, your piece emphasizes the importance of observation and the valuing of small moments in our lives. The recording of such moments in time is what sets writers apart from the rest of society. I enjoyed the territorial struggle that ensued. The pictorial evidence just added more gravitas to your compelling words.

  2. So fun, Elsie, considering we have many squirrels and yes I feed them peanuts & sometimes corn, watch them all the time. Hurrah for you, & now I wonder if it has a companion? Great pics!

  3. Judy C. says:

    Love it! Our friends have a very big aversion to squirrels and we try to find some sort of squirrel related stuff when we travel. They also have a yard full of birds that they feed. Apparently they aren’t the right kind of birds to scare the squirrels away!

  4. We do have trees and squirrels in our back yard. I enjoy watching them and hold my breath each time one goes to cross the street in front of our house. I d don’t even get mad when they feast on the bulbs I plant.

  5. I have said this before…I just adore how you notice things. Wildlife is such a rich source for your observations and tales! Then it is enriched with photographic evidence of unfolding events! The suspense draws me in every time! (Plus having had the joy of visiting you I add details that I remember! 🙂 )

  6. Lynn says:

    Too funny…where I used to live squirrels were everywhere! Now I have not seen one which is fine by me as I have never been a fan! I enjoy seeing roadrunners, coyotes and a few geckos instead.

  7. Love it! We have a lot of squirrels around our house but my family has a few favorite squirrel pals. We always look forward to seeing the gray squirrel with the white tipped ears, the black squirrel with the brown extra bushy tail and the gray squirrel with white stripes on it’s tail. They are like fuzzy little pets. They’ve been there since we moved in, always coming back to visit throughout our ten years. My children have grown up watching for them outside…and they lasted a lot longer than those robin’s eggs in the nest on our deck. 🙂

  8. I love this post. Growing up, I remember the excitement of seeing squirrels out the window at our house and a fascination to pause everything and watch them. This weekend when I was out walking with my almost 2 year old in a stroller, we paused so she could watch a squirrel. I’ll pause with that, but there are many more squirrel memories flooding back to my mind. It is interesting how a topic like a squirrel is pulling on so many different memories. I would not have typically thought to write about them, but your post is making me want to do a list of different squirrel related memories.

    Thanks for the pictures and the glimpse into your close observation.

  9. Elsie, love this account of your morning adventure with the squirrel in your yard. I have many that I could send your way. Love the way the birds banded together and called for reinforcements.

  10. I always think that I should incorporate photos into my posts, and you’re reminding me just how perfectly it can help frame the story! You’re so vivid – I can hear those chatty birds now!

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