Saturday, August 6, 2016

Garden Surprises

 There has been a very interesting surprise in our garden. No, I am not talking about the Naked Ladies popping up here and there around the garden.
When we came home the other evening. As soon as I stepped into the kitchen I looked out the back door and saw a bit of brown in the hole of a bird house that hangs straight out from that door. I couldn't tell what sort of creature was in the hole. I figured it was a house sparrow that got it's head stuck in the hole because the hole is so small that only Chickadees have ever used this box. I went and got my binoculars to have a closer look.
When I looked I almost shouted to my DB ' A flying squirrel...no a big mouse...no A FLYING SQUIRREL!!!'
DB quickly got his bins to confirm. I couldn't hardly believe it. I had only seen a flying squirrel one other time in my life. That one was in Ferdinand State Forest one spring when I was helping a friend clean out bluebird boxes. We found a nest with young flying squirrels.
This little critter is in my garden. Just look at that cute little face.  I took these photos through dirty glass and the house was back lit, but I didn't want to miss the photo opportunity. I didn't think anyone would believe me. I couldn't hardly believe me. I didn't know they were in the neighborhood let alone in our garden. After watching the little rodent peeking out of the hole and disappearing inside I started thinking about a few clues that should have warned me there might be a different critter in the garden.
Last October I cleaned out the nest boxes. In this yellow box I found a layer of acorns below a downy soft nest.  
I knew that the Chickadee didn't nest in that box last year. Is this the nest of a Flying Squirrel? I bet it is. Why? Because of the acorns in the box, and the thick densely packed nest. Does anyone have any experience with this creature and it's ways?  
I have read that their preferred food is acorn. After finding this cache in the nest box I thought maybe some of the grey squirrels that frequent our feeders had stuffed acorns into this box and then chewed the hole trying to get to them again.
 Yes, that little turd I found on the shelving that holds several different types of bird houses.Should have been a clue. I think it might belong to the flying squirrel. When I first saw it this past week I thought rat...I rest my case. (S)he might have been checking out the other houses.
 I now think this little nocturnal flying squirrel has been the one bringing acorns into the garden and planting them everywhere. All this time I have been blaming the grey squirrels. I bet he is also the one who took away one of my air plants. I wonder if (s)he thought it would be a good padding in it's nest or it was just a tasty treat?

15 comments:

  1. What a cutie! I've never seen one except at exhibits and on TV. That's so exciting. Great photos, too! I like your new header, Lisa.

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  2. What a great surprise for you!!! I've never seen them either, but I think I might be the teeniest bit creeped out.

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  3. Cute! That is a surprise. I didn't know flying squirrels even existed!

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  4. Oh M G!!! How adorable! I can feel how excited you must have been to find him/her!!! So amazing and wonderful!!! Maybe you can paint (a painting) of him!!!

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  5. Jason, I am not surprised that you didn't know about them. They aren't a common species.

    Julie, The little darling has already made an appearance in my garden journal. I will do a little painting of it in my sketching journal. :)

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  6. He does look cute! We had one once but then I guess it "flew" away as I've never seen one again and that was years ago.

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  7. Wow, I had no idea there were flying squirrels in the Midwest! Wonder if there are little babies inside?

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  8. Are the pink flowers the same as Spider Lilies? Lovely.

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  9. Rose, I might look inside sometime soon. I would love to see if it was just hanging out or if it has a nest...again.
    I haven't heard any noise from the box. Of course I am usually outside during daytime not night when they
    are active.

    pbmgarden, The pink lilies are Lycoris squamigera. They go by many different common names such as naked ladies, resurrection lily, surprise lily...

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  10. How sweet is she/he.....such a cute little face.
    It is wonderful to have a new resident in the garden. It brings a space to life and make the journey so interesting.

    Keep us updated on this little chap Lisa..........

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  11. Beautiful garden & creative shots -sweet critters too !

    Happy week to you! ^_^

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  12. Lisa, how very, very exciting for you. I can easily imagine the buzz you must have had this day. I’m not likely to see a flying squirrel here in Scotland so I’ve just done a video search to see what they are like. Wow! These creatures glide in the funniest of ways to watch but clearly it is a very successful way to get about for them. Your photos are great, capturing its distinctive head. I love its oval eyes and bat like ears. I too look forward to hearing more about this visitor to your garden – you must be desperate to see inside the box now! What fun :-)

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  13. So cute!! Lucky you! I've never seen one in the wild.

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  14. All kinds of delights and surprises in your garden!

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  15. It is so cute.A new member in your beautiful garden.

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