Peaches the Squirrel

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This blog post is a little off topic but explains why we themed one of our bedrooms with squirrels.  It's because of Peaches.


Peaches entered our lives on August 2020.  We were working at home at the time due to the pandemic and one day I went to take my dog to the backyard and we found this little baby squirrel curled up in the grass at the base of a tree.  Not knowing what to do, we left her there hoping her mother would come for her.  Before sunset it became obvious that mom wasn't or couldn't come back.  We decided to bring her in.


The video below pretty much explains what happened.  The rest of this blog post will fill in some gaps, relation to our haus and questions viewers have had.


 

Timeline

  • August 2020 - we find Peaches curled up in the backyard; we begin raising her
  • October 2020 - Peaches grows up and we release her to the wild; Firefly Haus architecture plans complete
  • December 2020 - Peaches continues to visit us
  • January 2021 - She keeps coming back to visit us; Firefly Haus starts construction
  • February 2021 - the big TX freeze occurs. She comes back home and spends the day inside resting.  This is the last month we see her.  😟

 

Insights

One of the most fascinating things I learned about squirrels is that they can tell the difference between humans.  When she was little, she would tolerate anyone playing with her.  But as she got older, she did not want anyone except us (me, Laura, Maddie and my dog Molly) to touch her.  She knew exactly who we were.  They have big eyes so I think they're good at recognizing faces.

Raising a baby squirrel is a unique opportunity to peek behind the curtain and see something you don't see in nature.  I watched her learn how to walk (when she was little she would sometimes lose her balance like a toddler... it was so cute).  Watching this precious little animal grow created this wonderful new perspective for me on nature and the other animals in it.  I am now convinced that most animals are capable of affection and emotion.  It's just that we don't see that (other than through normal pets) because these animals are wild.

The same time we were raising Peaches, we were building Firefly Haus back in TN.  We released her in October 2021 because we had to fly to TN to do some work on the haus and by then, Peaches was too old to let anyone else take care of her.  Since we knew we had to leave, we released her a week before we left to help her get used to being outside (and yes we left her cage out there, too).  When we returned, we discovered that she was still around and visiting us.

When we were decorating the haus, I asked Laura if we could do some squirrel pictures because of Peaches.  At first she was hesitant because she thought I was going to go overboard with putting pictures of Peaches all over (I'm a proud squirrel daddy!)  😊  But we compromised and made one of the bedrooms squirrel themed in honor of Peaches.

 

Q&A

Q: What happened to Dottie?

A: We found Dottie under the same tree later that day.  She was much smaller than Peaches but since it was the same tree, we assume Dottie was a runt in the same litter.  When we tried to feed her, she was extremely weak and sometimes the Pedialyte would bubble up through her nose.  That kinda told us she was in bad shape.  She died the first night we had her.

 

Q: Why didn't we create an enclosure for Peaches when we released her?

A: Short answer: I didn't know how to reintroduce a squirrel back into the wild.  I've since learned more about the process after reading comments on the video and doing some research.  However we left her hamster cage outside with food but she didn't seem interested in going back to it.

 

Q: Does Peaches still visit you?

A: Sadly no.  I feel like she can't anymore because she's scared of territorial squirrels or dead.  😟  One of the things I noticed from leaving food out was that another squirrel was coming around and marking the area around the food.  When Peaches came to the same area, she would almost act afraid of the markings and avoid passing through the marked spots.

 

Q: How long did we see Peaches?

A: It was a total of about 7 months.  We raised her in the house for 2 months, then let her go and she kept coming back for about 5 months.

 

Peaches on her playscape

 

Peaches and proud papa