FURRY WARS: UPDATE
Most of my readers are aware that I follow a 56 day work cycle and that leaves the home garrison largely unprotected against any chance marauders, feathered or furred, for 4 week periods.
Generally though, the depth of winter is blissfully quiet and, in spite of their superb winter uniforms, the Furry battalions tend to hold to their winter barracks.
Even the local Felis silvestris catus horribilis foregoes much of its hunting activity when temperatures drop and the snow rises, preferring to stay close to home, hearth and Tasty Treats.
I assume that the Furries just while away the days reviewing campaigns past, planning for the new campaigns: that they look to recruitment, try to stay warm and do all the things that armies have done in their winter quarters throughout history.
From time to time, usually during particularly mild weather, a Furry might scout the area but seldom linger.
All this said, I was mildly surprised that significant contingents of both Red Coated and Gray Coated Furries greeted me when I arrived home on Wednesday afternoon.
Both units immediately dispersed, of course, and executed their standard evasion tactics: the Grays froze behind cover and the Reds created confusion by darting willy-nilly between vantage points.
So on Thursday I set about evicting the intruders.
It was a bit of a running battle for three days. The Furries fought a strong holding action but one could see that their ability to reinforce was being stretched.
Fortunately, the skirmishes were mainly fought before the recent rain and thaw. Also fortunate, the Furries didn't try to field any of their heavy Ring-tailed units, perhaps due to the deep snow. Thankfully, that eliminated fighting very cold night actions, although as Nev G's recent experience attests, the heavy units of the Masked Marauders are capable of daylight winter operations.
I wonder if the Furry General Staff is aware of those two famous and failed Winter Campaigns in Russia?
The Furry Gang is always secretive about their strength and virtually never issue casualty reports. Nonetheless, by Sunday, the ranks of both Red Coats and Gray Coats were thinned and no Furries were able to forage in the vicinity of my feeders without opposition.
By that third day only a single Gray Coat ventured across the battlefield. That Bushy-Tail never paused to eat. It appeared to be very wary, disorientated and simply trying to join with his routed unit.
Also on Sunday, a single Red Coat was spotted sulking low through dense cover, some distance from my feeders, headed away and apparently foraging on berries enroute.
Hopefully things will remain peaceful for a few weeks, until longer days and muddy ground signal the annual Spring Campaign.
Enjoyed your prose as usual, Ralph!
I gather your Furry Gang consists primarily of Red and Grey Squirrels. How do you 'evict the intruders'?
Reds & Grays are the Furries of the moment but, according to the seasons, Raccoons are a big bother, as well as Skunks, Chipmunks and Groundhogs.
Some can be scared off but I have several live traps, too.
Thanks for the info, Ralph.