The Great Squirrel Relocation Project (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)

squirrel

“Critters” seems to be a reoccurring theme in our life. We’ve had bat situations and ant invasions. We have dealt with raccoons invading shed and garden and mice moving into our house. The latest encounter has been the squirrely-est squirrel we have ever seen.

It all started innocently enough. Sometime in the summer a squirrel moved into one of the huge spruce trees in our front yard. He spent the summer scampering about and doing what squirrels do. Come fall the squirrel went into winter preparation mode, frantically collecting and storing cones from our trees. It was all very interesting to watch. However last week the squirrel experience took a turn.

squirrel

Last week the squirrel became too brave. It all started when he decided to start eating the cones while sitting on our deck rail. He was getting a little too close to the house. We remember what happened to the family across the street from us and we didn’t want it to happen to us.  Squirrels invaded their house resulting in having to replace their deck, roof and siding. Of course it doesn’t help that the lady next door was (and still is) FEEDING the squirrels. Why would anyone encourage a problem?

So the squirrel progressed from eating on our deck to bringing cones on to the deck and storing them in our planters. Then he started burying them in our planters. As the cones started to pile up we knew we had to discourage our furry friend, so we started getting rid of the cones. Then the squirrel started to dig up the planters. There was dirt everywhere. We’d clean it up. An hour later, again there was dirt everywhere. At one point we even covered the top of a planter with one of our son’s big toy diggers, and the squirrel tried to dig around it. The squirrel wasn’t getting the message.

Dirt everywhere from the planters.

Dirt everywhere from the planters.

Digging up the planters.

Digging up the planters.

 

It was time to relocate our fluffy tailed friend.

Thanks to our ongoing mouse situation, and my husband’s new hobby of buying traps, we had a brand new live squirrel trap in the basement (as you do!). An accidental purchase thanks to our four year old of peanuts provided the perfect bait. We threw in a few of his cones for good measure.

blog squirrel being relocatedWithin an hour Mr. Squirrel had found a way into the live trap, eaten the peanuts and was ready for his trip to greener forests.

We popped him in the back of the truck, and my husband covered the cage with a tarp. He says it was to keep the squirrel calm. I don’t know. Perhaps it was too similar to classic kidnapping techniques you read about………he was just making sure the squirrel didn’t know where he was going so he didn’t come back.

blog squirrel being releasedWe took the squirrel down to the nature sanctuary. My husband lifted the door and the squirrel was gone in a flash. We’ve never seen a creature move so fast.

blog squirrel runs into the trees

Gaetz Lake sanctuary, Red Deer, AB, Canada

We think the squirrel will be much happier here, even though he will probably miss the steady diet of peanuts our neighbor fed him.

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Downtown Zucchini

The city of Red Deer has a really cool thing happening at the moment, for the summer months a Wednesday market is held in the downtown area. They close off a couple of streets from 4pm to 7 pm and set up a market.

wednesday downtown 2 I enjoy markets of any kind, and have visited markets in many different countries, but I think this one is particularly great as all the items have to be locally grown or locally made. This is such a great concept especially for those who believe in the 100 mile diet or believe in supporting local economies. The market has a mix of produce stands, preserve stands, meat producers, honey producers, a craft stand, food trucks and more. Today it was busy which is great to see, and people were buying (even better!).

wednesday downtown 1One added bonus to the market is the Ross Street Patio. Each week new artists treat the public to live music. If you don’t make it to the Wednesday evening set, the same musicians often perform on Thursdays at lunchtime (noon to 1:30 pm-ish). We’ve popped by for a listen many times and the music has always been brilliant.

We walked down to market this evening. Downtown being walkable is one of the bonuses of living in a historic neighborhood just off the downtown core. We strolled through the market checking out the stalls and all their offerings. We couldn’t resist the honey stand and everyone just had to have a honey stick; they were very yummy, We then came across a vegetable stand that had the biggest (that should read BIGGEST) zucchini I have ever seen. The stand was run by a farm and U-pick in the Markerville area. Now we didn’t really need a zucchini, but the zucchini were so huge it just seemed like a fun thing to do to buy one of these super sized veggies. Admittedly, I secretly wanted to know just how many zucchini loaves I would get out of one…..I’m a bit of a geek!

wednesday downtown 3Luckily we had a double stroller to transport our big purchase home.

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Once we were home our youngest couldn’t resist checking out the huge squash. He thought it was pretty funny.

I guess tomorrow I will find out just how huge the zucchini is when I start shredding it for baking!