It must be spring because the squirrels are out teasing Gypsy every chance they can. Gypsy will watch from the backdoor, we open the door let her out and after the squirrels she goes. But they are too fast for her. Up a tree with her at the bottom looking up at them, then the squirrel jumps from tree to tree with Gypsy following on the ground. Yesterday a squirrel jumped from one tree in our back woods to another getting closer and closer to the house until it ended up on a maple close to the house, on a lower branch. A lower branch just out of Gypsy’s reach. Gypsy circled and circled the tree while (I imagine) the squirrel sat up in the branches laughing to itself.
Due to the deep snow we had this year the neighbor’s chickens haven’t been over in at least 2 months. Needless to say we are out of practice in performing a “chicken check” prior to letting the dogs out. We need to get back in to that practice. When I let Gypsy & Fiona out this morning I thought Gypsy was looking at a squirrel. Nope, it was the chickens by our woodpile between our house and the neighbor’s. Off she went and the squawking began, chickens running helter/skelter. None were injured and Gypsy came back when I called to her. Curiously enough, yesterday I was thinking about how beneficial it would be to have the chickens over this year to keep the bugs down in the yard. Guess they want to get an early start.
So for now spring is starting; however, we won’t get too comfortable—still haven’t heard any spring peepers (frogs that come out every spring in the ponds in our area), there is still snow on the ground AND the potential for another snowstorm to come up the coast later this week (track uncertain at this point so no definite prediction about snowfall). Also after our 60 degree weather yesterday, it’s back down to single digits tonight.
Chickens in our yard last fall
If I haven’t mentioned it before, Gypsy LOVES to chase squirrels. Our back porch is enclosed (more like a mud room) and we have a full view storm door as our outside door. During the summer the glass is replaced by a screen but right now it is a glass pane from top to bottom. Gypsy likes to lay on the back porch (when it is warm enough) and look out the back door.
Before she goes out she looks around the backyard to see if there are any beings she needs to “guard” against. She has been amazed when we open the inner door and there is a squirrel sitting on the back step looking at the house. Gypsy stares as the squirrel as if sizing it up and the squirrel stares back like it is daring her to try to catch it. We make a move to open the door and the chase begins always ending with the squirrel reaching the safety of a tree before Gypsy gets to the foot of the tree. If she could I think she would climb up after it. Many times, like once last week, she will take off up our back hill into the woods and normally she is chasing a squirrel. We have learned to look around the backyard as well to make sure there aren’t any deer or the neighbors chickens out there but when it comes to squirrels they aren’t as easily seen by us humans.
But I digress. Recently one morning I went to put the dogs out, took a look around the yard before opening the back door and didn’t see anything. However, Gypsy did: halfway up the hill and midway between the start of the tree line and the path to the back of our property she ran. I saw the squirrel dart up a tree and there she stood at the bottom of it. Then to her surprise, CRACK, down came a branch on the side opposite her and up jumped that squirrel (either he was hefty or that branch was weak). Gypsy stood there looked confused while the squirrel jumped up and ran to another tree. She then circled the bottom of the 2nd tree as if expecting another squirrel to fall from the sky! The squirrel survived to tease her another day.
It took a couple of minutes but she finally decided the excitement was over and came back to the house looking a bit disappointed. Gypsy hasn’t given up, she still checks out the yard before going out the door to see if she can chase any other squirrels up a tree.