I was cruising through my Facebook page to see if there was anything interesting and this picture of a squirrel caught my eye. Perhaps you have had the same experiences we have with these incredibly clever creatures.

When we first built our house 20 years ago, we thought it would be nice to attract more birds to our back yard with a bird feeder. Since squirrels are so numerous here, we also looked for a bird feeder that was “squirrel proof.” Back then, we couldn’t go online and read what others had experienced here so we used our own intuition.

The one we bought had all kinds of features that would ostensibly make it squirrel-proof, but apparently, no one told the squirrels who gleefully scampered up the pole. So, given the pole was metal, I applied to my chemical engineering and scientific background: grease the pole. That would certainly do it.

To our delight, we watched two squirrels try to climb the pole and fail for over an hour that day. Then, as we were sitting there on the deck, I noticed one of the squirrels had climbed the nearby tree, walked out on a very thin branch … and was hanging, triangulating directly above the bird feeder.

Perhaps also waiting for no breeze to ruin the attempt, the squirrel dropped a full 20 feet from that branch squarely on the top of the feeder … which rocked back and forth for almost a minute. Then, as if the character Rambo from an old Silvester Stallone movie, proceeded to empty the entire feeder onto the ground so that all the family and friends could enjoy the fruit of his labors.

So, what should we all learn here beyond the simple fact that there really is no such thing as a squirrel proof feeder? When you really want something, you have to think beyond the obvious and then take some real risks.


Squirrels seem especially good at this.

Hope your New Year is full of new ideas and the determination to put them into action.

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