Swear to God–saw them doing it. The chewed up, blue plastic led-bulb cover was abandoned on the porch beneath the cut wires you see in this picture. And this is the second string of lights they have ruined. They sampled several of the bulb covers on the first one (after nipping each free of the wires), perhaps hoping to find a ripe one–much as they used to sample and discard each of the young pomegranates growing out back before I trained our orange cat Timmy to sleep on the shed roof right next to the tree.
Cindy and I have a long history of arguments about these bushy-tailed rats. She objects to my doing anything at all to keep them from eating my whole garden, and whenever one pauses on a window sill, looking in like a little professor in brown tweed, she names it. Christ. There are Millions of them around here, and cars are the only predators. I tried once to trap and relocate some of the more savy ones, but that didn’t make a dint in the population and then Cindy found out and said I had probably caused whole nests of baby squirrels to starve. So I don’t do that anymore, although I am thinking about treating some of them with hair dye to make them look like skunks. Timmy is better than the plastic hawks people put up the scare them away. He will chase them but has reached the point of conserving energy even when they bark at him from a few feet away. I wouldn’t mind sharing the fruits of my garden with the squirrels, but they don’t want that–they want it all, and they want it when it is green, and they don’t like it green, but they move right on to the next green possibility (or blue, in the case of the lights). I gave Cindy pause recently when I hit upon the splendid argument that she — a vegetarian — only gets all of those fruits and vegetables because somebody has solved the pest problem for her. But, a good observation only goes so far, and truth be told — I felt bad about pointing that out. I’m thinking of taking up falconry, though. And I hear that Pine Martens prey on squirrels. I wonder if they could be induced to take a fancy to warmer climates, where oak and pecan trees are no doubt much easier to climb….