WOooo! Lumpy squirrel on the feeder!

God help me, I’m excited to see that the local squirrels have botflies. Obviously I am sick in the head.

For those readers who’ve joined us since last summer, the squirrels in North Carolina (and many other places) are afflicted with a parasite known as squirrel botflies, which burrow under the skin, cause a huge bald lump, and then hatch out. It’s generally not harmful to the squirrel, although I must assume they don’t particularly enjoy it–you’re not supposed to try to catch them and remove them, since the stress of capture is apparently far greater than the annoyance of having a bug hanging off you. It causes the squirrels to get a rather disturbing Quasimodo-ish look for awhile, and leaves a distinctive round scar.

The first of the defective wildlife I began watching was Lumpy the squirrel. So there’s a weird kind of nostalgia attached, which probably is a sign that I am a major freak.

I suggest not googling, unless you have a remarkably strong stomach.

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