Friday, August 20, 2010

The Nut Job I Met on a Garden Walk

Friday, August 20, 2010

A couple of years ago, I went with a friend on a garden walk in and around Romeo, Michigan. Even though I’m a Master Gardener, I don’t usually go on garden walks, because it’s too damned hot for me to be outside. (Most of my gardening is growing orchids under lights in my basement, because I hate the heat.) But it wasn’t very hot that day, there weren’t many gardens on the list and the company was good.

Everything was fine until we came to the last house. We were greeted by a sweet old couple and their dog. They chatted and were very friendly, while pointing out various interesting plants in their front yard. When we got to the back of the house, I was perplexed by the small animal live traps littering the yard. So I asked the man what he was trying to catch, imagining it was rats, or something equally disgusting. Well, I couldn’t believe my ears when he said the traps were for squirrels. I figured he was relocating them, but I couldn’t imagine why. After all, I feed three kinds of squirrels in my yard and love having them.

He explained that the huge trees in the yard were walnut trees and that the squirrels were stealing his walnuts. So I asked where he takes the squirrels, and he said, “To the kitchen.” Then a feeling of horror washed over me, as he went on to explain that he cooks the squirrels and feeds them to his dog. He smiled and said something about the dog being really healthy.

I was sickened. This was a suburban neighborhood, not a freaking farm in the wilderness. Aren’t squirrels protected from nut jobs like him?! And the two of them looked so sweet and innocent – who’d have figured they were serial killers? Haven’t gone on a garden walk since! : )

Note: According to the DNR, if you have a crop and an animal is destroying it, the animal can be considered a “nuisance” and be destroyed. Even in the city. I think that’s insane.

Photo by turtlemom4bacon
Title: Project 366 2008 - March 13, 2008 - My first squirrel photo


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