I never fully trust things I see or hear before my first cup of morning coffee. It takes some caffeine infusion to right my senses and sharpen my mind. As such, when I looked out my kitchen window yesterday morning and saw a squirrel scamper out of my garden and up and over the neighbor’s fence with something orange, I was unsure what exactly was going on.
A few minutes later, after initiating the formal wakeup protocol of coffee and a few minutes of quiet reflection, I peered out at the garden again wondering what the orange thing was that the squirrel had skirted away with. There are no orange flowers that match the size of the object he had in my flower garden. I thought for a moment he had absconded with one of my orange garden gloves, but quickly remembered they were in my gardening basket in the house. With no ready answer to what the orange item was I quickly lost interest in the mystery and returned to quiet time with my coffee.
After pouring a second cup of coffee I let the dogs out the door that leads to the deck. As I slid open the sliding glass door the mystery of the orange item was solved. There I saw a squirrel, hereafter known as THE SQUIRREL, scamper off one of the hibiscus plants on my deck to the top rail of the privacy lattice with yet another orange item – one of my beloved hibiscus flowers.
There was a moment where THE SQUIRREL and I made eye contact and then he quickly hopped merrily around the privacy lattice perimeter and into the lilac bush. It wasn’t until he rounded the corner and was within jumping distance of the lilac that the dogs became aware of his presence. All hell broke loose and my old dogs were moving so quickly that they caught air descending the deck stairs – I don’t know that their paws touched a single stair. Even though their effort was akin to dogs half their age, they had nothing on THE SQUIRREL who did not seem the least bit traumatized by all the barking and jumping about.
Once I knew that the mystery orange thing I saw THE SQUIRREL with was a hibiscus, I was left to wonder why this particular flower was of interest. Do squirrels eat flowers? Was the little bugger dating and trying to make a good impression? Was he attracted to the color? Was it for bedding (they are amazingly soft)? I confess, my knowledge vault in this area was as empty as Al Capone’s vault (there is a Geraldo Rivera throwback from the 80s for you dear readers). To fill the vault, I had to consult with a bigger brain on this one – Google.
And then, so many things made sense. The broken limb I noticed on one of my hibiscus plants the other day, all the buds on the ground, and the struggles we faced in the past with keeping potted hibiscus plants in the front yard intact – it was THE SQUIRREL. So now I know, squirrels have a jaded history with hibiscus plants and the damage they cause is bemoaned by hibiscus plant lovers far and wide.
Alrighty then, it’s on! Let’s just see who prevails in the epic battle of the hibiscus – me or THE SQUIRREL. Place your bets!
Another day in the new forty – obla di obla da