Spring is finally on the way. We still have plenty of snow but after several days above freezing, bare ground is beginning to appear around trees and at the edges of sidewalks. It is such a relief.

Another sign that spring is imminent is the busy squirrels. When the temperatures were arctic and the snow piled high on the rooftops, I saw hardly any squirrels. Now they are out in force. To be sure they are looking for food, but they are also looking for nesting material. Since the snow still covers most of the ground making left over fall leaves impossible to find, they have chosen cardboard as their nesting material. We have a cardboard box on our deck that we were going to use as mulch in the garden but the squirrels have gotten there first. The bold critters come up and tear off pieces and run away with a full mouth. Waldo and Dickens are definitely entertained. They plaster themselves against the window and chatter at the squirrels. Does anyone else find a chattering cat both amusing and unnerving at the same time? The sound they make is funny but it’s like they are possessed.

It isn’t just the cardboard box on the deck that the squirrels are helping themselves to. I got two boxes in the mail over the course of the week. One was larger and had my new wellies in them. Yes I got wellies! My first pair ever and I like them very much. They are plain and slate colored but the color is more blue than grey and they look sort of periwinkle. Made by Kamik they are all rubber and should I manage to wear them out I can send them to the company for recycling. How cool is that? My days of ruining sneakers in the garden are over. Anyway, they got delivered while Bookman and I were away at work. When we finally retrieved them from the porch, the squirrels had helped themselves to a corner of the box.

On another day I received a book in the mail. It was too big for the mail carrier to put it in my mailbox so he left it on the porch in front of the door. Arriving home from work I startled away a squirrel who ran off with a mouthful of cardboard. It was not the first trip to the box because the whole of one end was gone! Thankfully the squirrel had not taken any bites out of the book inside. I have to admit it was kind of nice I didn’t have to wrestle the box open.

Since I am still a month or so away from being able to plant cool weather veggies in the garden I don’t mind the busy squirrels. I have a secret weapon to keep them from digging up my seeds this year. I am anxiously awaiting a battle of wits. In the meantime I am carefully observing the voracious appetite for cardboard of my enemies so that I may know them better and ultimately win the garden war.

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