Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Little Squirrely

The Washington Post's Sunday Source had a feature story on squirrels in DC and IMHO the best photo the Post has ever printed ran with it. Finding out from the Post's piece that the squirrels were actually brought in here to replenish their population was a shocker. Seeing that public funds went to feed them was even worse. I don't know why I'm surprised though, this is the same government that brought in the plagues of Japanese beetles and kudzu.

Like many Washingtonians I have a love-hate thing with these little rodents. They are fun to watch, feed, and play with. However, they are destructive and in growing numbers are aggravating to many local gardeners. They steal tomatoes before they're ripe. They pull out your bulbs, take one bite, and thrown then to the side. They raid bird feeders. They throw your annuals out of the window boxes to bury a tiny acorn there. I could go on and on about their dirty deeds from home invasion to electric pole destruction. One wonders just how much squirrels have cost us over the years in property and garden destruction. You have to admit though, they are pretty darn cute.


FirePhrase said...

I was kind of surprised that hunting wasn't banned in DC until 1906. Imagine carrying a squirrel rifle around the Capital today.

I read an article when I was in San Diego that their zoo has to buy almost double the food they normally would because of what they lose to squirrels and other rodents. Cute little freeloaders, though.

WashingtonGardener said...

I'm not that surprised that squirrel huntinglast into the 20th C - what I am surprised at is how quickly it all flipped - by 1950s not only are we paying to feed squirrels, but chicken coops and bee-keeping are made illegal inthe city limits. Itis like some wave of nature-phobia and disassociation swept in with the World Wars.