Velvet Revolver Triumphs Over Flying Squirrels

| 12/12/2011 9:07:37 AM

This is the blog Michelle didn’t want me to write. It’s too personal. It exposes some of the negative details of life here at Sunflower Farm. Some dark corners of the human psyche are just left best left unexplored publicly.

But explore and expose it I must, because it’s part of rural life. In fact, the way things are going, this is becoming more and more a part of city life too. I speak, of course, of dealing with the animals that want to live with you that you don’t want to live with. These can be raccoons or squirrels or mice or rats or bats or possums, the list seems to get longer all the time and urban dwellers are not sheltered from this reality. In fact Toronto, the largest city in Canada, has become the raccoon capital of the world.

While we’ve had bears in the backyard and raccoons in the corn, the big critters seem to leave us alone most of the time. We’ve battled bats in both buildings and have come to accept them as inevitable in a farmhouse that was built in 1888. But flying squirrels have proven to be quite a challenge in the guesthouse. It’s less than 20 years old and has far fewer gaps and crevices than our old farmhouse, but these little creatures are able to contort their bodies into some amazingly small spaces to get in.

Photo courtesy of wikicommons.

My first experience with a flying squirrel took place one night at dusk. I was standing on the driveway and heard a commotion at the top of our 40-foot metal phone tower. Once my eyes had adjusted to the low light and I could finally make it out, I was surprised to see a squirrel at the top of the tower. They don’t usually like climbing metal stuff. I was even more “surprised” when it jumped from the tower into space, and came hurtling towards me at light speed like something fired from a killer drone. It came within a few feet of me before it veered off to a tree branch nearby. This is the now famous incident where I admit to uttering a manly expletive at my surprise of the unexpectedness of it all, while Michelle contends that inside the house she heard me “scream like a girl.” Perhaps the truth lives somewhere in the middle.

The next thing I knew, the flying squirrels had decided to set up camp in the guesthouse. Several of our friends who stayed over had quite exciting nocturnal experiences with them. Ellen likes to regale people with the story of Jerry trapping one in the “Canopy Room” and using a badminton racquet to humanely direct it to the open window as it leaped from wall to ceiling to wall. It was a warm night and Jerry had chosen to sleep without pajamas, and frankly when I think of the unpredictable nature of a trapped and panicked flying squirrel I have an instinctive tendency to want to cover up certain exposed parts of my anatomy.

Which brings us back to why Michelle didn’t want me to write this blog. We have begun hosting paid guests for renewable energy retreats. We offer these as a way for anyone interested in renewable energy to get a real sense of what living off grid and within your means is like. Michelle didn’t want anything out there that would give people pause when it came to booking a visit.

1/4/2012 7:50:57 PM

If they get used to that, try the Doors 'People Are Strange' tune!

dawn lynnes
12/13/2011 12:15:12 AM

Just put a couple cats in there every night. My cat finally caught up with them and no more noises!They r cute lil critters tho. I raised a baby in a dining room cabinet with glass doors and 3 shelves turned into a climbing home for him or her? I took her o/s to play on an apple tree and a clothesline to teach her to fly and back in to the cabinet, yep noisy at night but when big enough she went to the apple orchard to be free!!! Then met another face to face after rowing a boat across a lake to some trails and had to use the outdoors for a bladder release and as I bent down I heard scurry scurry and looked up and there were those big beautiful brown eyes saying hey what do ya think ur doin???LOL!!! I'd love to come visit as my sister has just moved to MT and she and her fam r becoming self sufficeint, funny cause I was the one who tried to teach her all that stuf when she was 18 and I was 29!! Iam glad it finally sunk in!!! I just like Canada. U never see u guys in the news, u never hear ur business, so it seems as tho u may be the only ones who have it together, at least somewhat!!!!

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