In my opinion, the squirrels are evil.

It appears that spring has sprung, although in Calgary, that means that there will be snow flurries and freezing temperatures interspersed with beautiful, sunny days, so take advantage and carpe diem, people. Carpe diem.

Everything in my garden, except for the notoriously late hostas and the slow-moving clematis are popping their little green heads above ground. Heads? Maybe not heads. They are popping their little green SPROUTS above ground, there we go. It is immensely cheering and satisfying to see a small sea of green, and even a few purple primulas popping up. Less cheering and satisfying is the sad state of affairs that are my tulips. Between the squirrels digging up and eating the bulbs, leaving holes in the garden and broken greenery in their wake, and the rabbits chewing down the foliage, I am reminded why I once tearfully got my husband to dig out every last one of my tulips.

Many years ago, when I was a starry-eyed newlywed, I bought tons of tulip bulbs and planted them in the fall. All sorts of colours; Queen of the Night purple, creamsicle orange and white variegated, apricot, you name it, I planted it. And the lone tulips that survived squirrel digging and rabbit chewing were eventually squashed by heavy late-May snowfalls. This went on for a few years until I couldn’t take the disappointment anymore and my husband headed out with a spade, for a mass tulip opposite-of-burial.

I seemed to have forgotten all about that when I cheerfully planted more bulbs, and then was reminded last spring when the squirrels dug out and ate every single one of my crocus bulbs. Practice non-attachment, love all earth’s creatures, but goddammit, seeing yet another hole where once there was a tulip has me this close to being the kind of person who sits in a rocking chair on the deck and throws rocks and/ or shoes at the squirrels. Well, my aim is pretty poor so that may or may not be a deterrent. Perhaps I shouldn’t stop Barkley the next time he catches a squirrel and leave the body as a cautionary tale to all the squirrels, but then I would probably have a yard full of crows and magpies and hence would be too terrified to leave the house.

Living in peace with all our fellow creatures can be CHALLENGING sometimes.

Speaking of living in peace with fellow creatures, I saw the new Guardians of the Galaxy on the weekend, and it was excellent. Better than the first, in my opinion.

Side note: any time anyone in my house says “In my opinion,” someone else will immediately say “The Jedi are evil!” This, of course, comes from the worst line of dialogue ever in a movie: Revenge of the Sith, one of the scenes just before – spoiler alert, in case you have been living in a galaxy far, far away – Anakin Skywalker becomes Bob, the legless, armless, burned up man.

I just went to find that clip, and I have found, to my extreme distress, that the line is actually, “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.” People, I am crushed. I feel like I should keep this information to myself. CAN I keep such important information to myself? CAN I just keep on keeping on?

Anyway. The movie was great; usually I fall asleep or daydream during movies that I go to with the boys, and end up missing major plot points or just becoming overwhelmingly bored, but this was not the case. It was very funny but as a warning, there is a lot of what I would call “teen boy humour” along with some bad language, so keep that in mind. For example, there is some talk of impregnation, and also “my nether regions are becoming engorged” type of commentary. You’ve been warned!

Along with the movie, my mother and I had our annual Mother’s Day pedicures, which was lovely, and then we visited with my parents this weekend. It was warm enough to take out the bikes for the first time this season, and in fact, I was wearing a t-shirt. Later my husband and I were walking the dog and I said to him, “It’s so beautiful, there’s not even any wind!” and I bet you can guess what happened after that. It was kind of educational though, as we watched the wind blow the ice down the lake. The next day was freezing and windy but as I said, it’s spring! At least it didn’t snow!

I know, I know, now I’m bracing for snow.


  1. Squirrels or rabbits got our tulips this year, too. I was on the fence about whether to even have a garden this summer because between slugs eating the seedlings and birds, squirrels, rabbits, and deer going after mature plants it’s very frustrating. We’ve got lettuce and cherry tomatoes in the ground though and parsley and chives in pots and I planted cucumber and sunflower seeds, so we’ll see.

    • It’s so frustrating! And normally we don’t have rabbits in the back yard because of Barkley, but I think those little bastards are nocturnally going into the yard and eating the tulips.

  2. This doesn’t solve the snowfall-in-May problem, but I have been told by the garden-store guy that squirrels and voles hate the taste of narcissus/daffodil bulbs: apparently they’re bitter. He advised planting a ring of narcissus around the tulip bulbs. The squirrels and voles were optimists and kept tasting bulbs until they found the tulips—but I have a nice big healthy ring of assorted narcissus.

  3. I once bought my brother-in-law a shirt for Christmas – it said “I have reason to believe the squirrels are mocking me.”

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