Friday, October 12, 2012

Fat, Pre-Diabetic, Hypertensive Chipmunks

Since we put out our bird feeder this summer we've gathered quite an array of wildlife. We've had visits from birds of all sorts, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and groundhogs. They love the free seeds!

We've also had visits from neighborhood cats and hawks. They love the free snacks too. (Chipmunks have a very loud squeak!)

Besides just being entertained by their antics, there are other benefits as well. Thanks to the squirrels I have a nice garden of sun flowers growing in my pots from all the buried sunflower seeds. Occasionally I'll see a squirrel digging at the roots of a sunflower plant, no doubt looking for the seed he knows he buried there! We also have quite a few interesting plants - probably millet and goodness only knows what else.

I've also discovered that this may be a good way to clean out the pantry without feeling guilty about throwing away the stuff we haven't eaten before it was too old and stale to be any good. The other day I found some of those bright orange peanut butter cracker sandwiches. The ducklings were fond of them for a short period of time, but now no one will touch them. And these were pretty old besides - past their 'best by' date. So I thought I'd try them out on the wildlife. Animals always like peanut butter and they don't care if it's a little old.

I've seen the squirrels nibbling at them. They pick one up in their little paws, turn it this way and that, sniff it, nibble the edges, turn it, sniff it, nibble the edges, then drop it and pick up another one - hoping that one will taste better. (the taste of store bought snacks rarely live up to their smell).

I just know what's going to happen. We're going to end up with a backyard full of fat, lethargic, pre-diabetic, hypertensive rodents. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with bright orange peanut butter crackers, but it's probably  not a healthy choice for a chipmunk (or arguably, a person). It's definitely not something their little bodies are used to. I mean, how often do they come across wild peanut butter crackers? With food coloring, salt, sugar, preservatives and other unmentionable chemicals? Not too often I think.

Now I'm torn between
1) Only feeding them healthy, natural nuts and seeds
2) Cleaning out the pantry and feeding them all sorts of garbage - saving money on seeds, but fattening them up like tiny little Paula Deans.

So hard to decide!


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