Sunday, May 12, 2013

Problem Squirrel

He came in the dark of the night.  Motive unknown.  To find something to eat?  To satisfy curiosity?  Or just because he was mean?

Last week I planted 25 store-bought strawberry plants in my specially designed, son-in-law-built, raised garden.  As I carefully dug little holes for each plant, and spaced them properly and at just the right depth, my head was filled with images of strawberries, lush red, delicious strawberries.

The next morning I walked out to inspect my little strawberry patch and saw the carnage.  Six strawberry plants dug up and scattered about.  Four strawberry plants missing.  My strawberry patch had been viciously attacked by an unknown critter, but I had a suspect in mind.  I had seen this gray squirrel with a short brown tail sneaking about—but I didn't think Brown Tail had the nerve to attack my new strawberry bed. I had caught him digging up pansy plants, digging up tulip bulbs—and Ruth even caught him red-pawed in broad daylight digging into my tomato plants that I was growing out before transplanting into my garden at the farm.

So Brown Tail became my prime suspect.  I developed a plan.  Off to the hardware stove I went to find some netting—the kind used to keep birds off fruit trees.  I carefully spread the netting over the strawberry plants.  Problem solved.  Brown Tail thwarted.

Nope.  Brown Tail too smart for this old farmer.  In the dark of the night, he crawled under the netting and dug up three more strawberry plants.  Now I have rocks holding down the netting and I am hoping the last few strawberry plants—that must be living in sheer terror, will survive the onslaught of this monster in their midst.

I will keep you posted.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Never underestimate the intelligence of supposedly dumb animals.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Interested in learning how to write your own stories?  Sign up for one of my upcoming one-day workshops that I am teaching at The Clearing in Door County.

Saturday, June 22, 9-4

Saturday, November 3, 9-4

Contact The Clearing for further information and/or to sign up (

(There will be a book signing at The Clearing on each of these Saturdays from 4-6:00 p.m.)


May 14, Trempealeau Library, 1:00 p.m. Trempealeau Fourth Graders and 7:00 p.m. for the community. Jerry Apps: A Farm Story. TV Show.
May 15, 7:00 p.m. Magers and Quinn Bookstore, Minneapolis.  Presentation and book signing. Limping Through Life and Letters from Hillside Farm.
May 16, 11-1:30 Chapter Two Bookstore, Hudson, WI.  Limping Through Life and Letters from Hillside Farm.
May 18, Dregne’s Scandanavian Gifts, Westby. 10:30-2:00, Book signing.
May 19, Books and Company, Oconomowoc. 2:00 p.m. Book signing.
May 23, Richfield Historical Society, 7:00 p.m. Stories from the land.
May 24-31, Colorado
June 4, Noon. Milwaukee Rotary Club. War Memorial Building. Limping Through Life.
June 6, 7:00 p.m. Dane County Genealogy. One Room Country Schools.
June 7, 7:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Launch of LETTERS FROM HILLSIDE FARM and LIMPING THROUGH LIFE.
June 8, 11:00 -3:00 Book signing, Tri-County Thresheree, Plainfield


DVD Jerry Apps: A Farm Story List $16.95 The Patterson’s price only $15.00 ($20.00 shipped)
Special Bundle Offer exclusively by the Patterson:
Tamarack River Ghost & Jerry Apps: A Farm Story – List $43.90
The Patterson’s Price Only $35.00 ($43.00 shipped)

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St. PO Box 305
Wild Rose, WI 54984

(All items are sold by the Friends of the Patterson Memorial Library. They will accept checks or cash, they’re sorry but they don’t have any way to accept credit or debit cards, checks should be made out to the Friends of Patterson Memorial Library.

1 comment:

Al Batt said...


I enjoy your books. I wouldn't think your culprit would be a tree squirrel. They are diurnal except for the flying squirrels. My strawberries are bothered by voles, raccoons, and slugs. Birds feed on them during the day. Good luck and keep up the good work.