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Grumpy Old Ganz

The Critters Showed Up For The Holidays

I’ve written in past columns about the endless deer that frequent my yard, nibbling away at the little tidbits of goodness on the ground throughout the year. The only real change to the deer herd this year was their ability to find safety in my yard during the rifle season, which I found extremely hilarious.

There have been some new appearances this year to the wildlife in my backyard from the endless, destructive abundance of turkeys to the appearance of five squirrels and one ruffed grouse.

These critters have taken great pleasure in destroying my bird feeders, eating the berries off my tree and stealing corn. However, the grouse took up residency in my woodshed, causing some extreme hand-to-bird combat when entering.

The squirrels were a welcomed sight…having none over the last four years. However, on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, I quickly began to dislike them. It seems they had recruited all their friends in the neighborhood to gather in my yard.

I had put out treats for all the critters to enjoy and celebrate in the holiday festivities with me. The deer, squirrels and grouse all showed up about the same time…bringing excitement as I watched. However, they did not stay long.

As I was preparing my holiday meal, I happened to look out the window…my five squirrel buddies had evidently invited all their friends, filling my yard with 27 of them! Not only did they eat every last bit of corn but completely cleaned out my bird feeders and ate every last berry off of the tree.

With a lesson learned, I decided the wildlife could celebrate the holidays with their own families, without me footing the bill!

So, on New Year’s Day, I decided to set the table for them once again…this time with empty plates!

Happy New Year to you and yours! May your year be full of treats and your plate never be empty!



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