The worst squirrel sin — of many — is what they do to the buds on my magnolia tree. Each Spring, just as I think that the tree is about to stun me with beautiful blooms, I get a shot as if from a stun gun: a tree stripped bare by these ravenous rodents.
In recent years, I have taken to painting the buds with a noxious mixture of cayenne pepper and water, but even when I stand on a ladder my reach does not exceed the squirrels’ grasp. Oh, I know what a heaven’s for.
This year, although the squirrels stripped one half of the tree — the side adjacent to the fence, along which they scamper so sweetly — I got to some of the buds in time. Our late Spring meant that the buds went from bud-like to past-their-prime flowers in about five hours when they finally did get going, but it was still a spectacular display.