Fox, Squirrels Having A Field Day At The White House Amid Shutdown

White Hosue Daytime

Well, some species seem to be benefiting from the government shutdown:

Right now, the many squirrels who live at the White House seem to have gotten even more aggressive with the low level of human intervention.  The squirrels are always a problem in the garden, eating the berry crop in the summer months.  But they’re now kids in a candy store, gorging themselves.

The bushy-tailed residents are feasting on the ripe Sungolds on the vines, as well as on other tomatoes and peppers littering the ground, as are the many birds who call the White House home (look closely at the papaya tree photo above, and there’s a squirrel at the bottom).

(…)

Still, the squirrels are also serving their country. They’ve been spotted eating the volunteer mushrooms that have newly colonized the grounds.

And about that fox that’s now living in the seat of American power: Thanks to the shutdown, groundskeepers have given up on their efforts to catch the elusive creature, who showed up to live inside the White House gates more than two weeks ago. It has been spotted many times at dawn and dusk, according to the White House source.

The happy visitor is not the first fox to make a home with at the White House, but may well have the longest tenure.

All of this comes from the blog of  Eddie Gehman Kohan, who Garance Franke-Ruta describes as “the author of the Obama Foodorama blog, which chronicles food (and foodie) policy as it relates to the White House.” Kohan is chronicling what has been happening during the shutdown to the vegetable garden that has been maintained for most years o the Obama Presidency. Apparently, with most of the people responsible for maintaining it furloughed just as peak harvest season occurs, it’s become overgrown and a source of much joy and sustenance for the squirrels and that fox. Although, one imagines that the fox would be just as happy with the squirrels if the vegetables run out.

All of this, of course, leaves unanswered the question just how did a fox get on to the White House grounds?

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    All of this, of course, leaves unanswered the question just how did a fox get on to the White House grounds?

    I blame Murdock

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Is one of them named Jenos?

  3. What’s wrong with having a fox on the white house grounds? If they let it stay, they might not have a squirrel problem.

  4. JKB says:

    This is not “peak harvest season” for a vegetable garden in DC. I live at least one, perhaps two growing zones south and even my cherry tomatoes that last until killed by the first freeze is waning.

    And this provokes the question, why are we paying people government salaries to maintain a vanity vegetable “garden” at the White House? If the Obamas want to garden, then fine, but “to garden” means you actually do the gardening not put it off on taxpayers to do your gardening for you. Talk about non-essential government workers.

    A papaya tree? I thought Michele was all about sustainability? What is sustainable about keeping a sub-tropical plant in a northern temperate climate? What is the greenhouse gas impact on keeping that tree warm and cozy?

    Maybe they are counting on the heat-island effect from the massive bubble of hot air that is DC but the garden is own borrowed time as the typical first freeze in DC is fast approaching.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    All I care about is if veterans have any problem with this.

  6. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: All I care about is if veterans have any problem with this.

    Just let a few of them on the grounds with squirrel guns and no more squirrel problem and probably no more fox problem either.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    And this provokes the question, why are we paying people government salaries to maintain a vanity vegetable “garden” at the White House?

    The answer is that Republicans consider vanity to be essential (just ask Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin), therefore this garden is an essential service as defined by Republican shutdown standards and as such it is not subject to shutdown.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Just let a few of them on the grounds with squirrel guns and no more squirrel problem and probably no more fox problem either.

    There’s JKB…greatly overestimating the effectiveness of his penile prosthetic again.
    Hawaii used to have a snake problem. So they imported a bunch of mongooses (mongeese?).
    Now they have a mongoose problem.
    The last thing we want is a f’ing JKB overpopulation problem.

  9. JKB says:

    Oh, that link needs to be distributed far and wide. They like to say it was started with just $200 in seed and amendments but produced thousands of pounds of produce. Very, very expensive produce using many highly paid government employees along with a “secret” greenhouse to swap in mature plants to maintain the Obama illusion.

    I needed a good laugh this morning.

    What is standard practice in the average citizen’s home garden typically does not go on in Mrs. Obama’s vegucation showcase. Mature plants are routinely socked into the beds to keep the garden looking lush and full. These are grown in a National Park Service greenhouse that East Wing aides only half-jokingly refer to as “top secret,” or donated by a certain local farmer who has offered growing advice.

    Before the shutdown, brown and yellow leaves were immediately whisked away. Diseased or bug-infested plants were removed rather than treated. Exactly one year ago, Mrs. Obama’s garden was a pristine tableau for the annual Fall Gardens & Grounds Tour, as can be seen in the photo, above, taken on Oct. 14, 2012.

    There’s even an organic vegetable farmer actually on the White House Park Service staff, hired in 2012 to ensure the garden’s success.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Just let a few of them on the grounds with squirrel guns and no more squirrel problem and probably no more fox problem either.

    As long as they’re automatic-squirrel guns, and Sarah Palin is wearing stripper heels and a bikini while she supervises the photo-op, I’ve go no problem with that.

  11. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: As long as they’re automatic-squirrel guns, and Sarah Palin is wearing stripper heels and a bikini while she supervises the photo-op, I’ve go no problem with that.

    I wouldn’t have gone that way but, hey, if you want to see Sarah Palin in a bikini and stripper heels as she demonstrate real leadership, I say, why not.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    I wouldn’t have gone that way but, hey, if you want to see Sarah Palin in a bikini and stripper heels as she demonstrate real leadership, I say, why not.

    Bikinis make for great reality television. Also, I admit, I do not consider ordering Vets to destroy squirrels and foxes to be real leadership, however I understand why conservatives do.

  13. JWH says:

    The headline made me think Megyn Kelley was going to explore liberalism among bushy-tailed rodents in a special report tonight.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Wasn’t there something about the average veggie garden producing over $600 worth of vegetables?

    Heck, I’d have one just for the opportunity to eat real tomatoes, not those horrible “designed to travel well” plastic pink things they sell in stores.

    And I bet that the White House garden gets photographed every day–is it really that much sillier than the rest of the landscaping around the White House?

    The fox? Doesn’t surprise me. When I was in London ran into them quite often at night. Between the squirrels and the rabbits and what they managed to get out of dustbins they seem to keep going pretty well.

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: As long as they’re automatic-squirrel guns, and Sarah Palin is wearing stripper heels and a bikini while she supervises the photo-op, I’ve go no problem with that.

    If you’re going to sexualize Palin to attack her, why not just go full misogynist and drop the C-word? It’s not like she hasn’t been called it before, and you know you’re just dying to let out your inner woman-hater.

  16. merl says:

    @JKB: what the hell is the matter with you people? i’d really like to know how someone could be so blinded by hate.

  17. anjin-san says:

    If you’re going to sexualize Palin

    I am fairly certain that someone who has been a beauty pageant winner – something accomplished in part by walking across the stage in a bathing suit to show off their body – has already sexualized themself. Palin has traded off her looks (she is actually pretty hot) nothing wrong with that, but you can’t have it both ways.

    Palin’s bathing suit walk

    the C-word

    That’s generally the territory of angry little boys who can’t get laid. And you are the one that brought it up. Hmmmm.

  18. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    why not just go full misogynist and drop the C-word?

    What’s misogynist about “Cookie”?

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    she demonstrate real leadership,

    Sarah Palin had a chance to display real leadership. She resigned. But if it works for you….

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    All of this, of course, leaves unanswered the question just how did a fox get on to the White House grounds?

    My bet would be that it crawled under the fence.

  21. anjin-san says:

    Of course it could just be that the Obama’s are actually in touch with what is happening in America…

    The number of households that report having a vegetable garden is now 53 per cent in the United States, according to the 2010 Summer Gardening Trends Research Report, issued regularly by the Garden Writers Association Foundation. That’s up from 38 per cent in 2009

    http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/a-growing-trend-vegetable-gardening-is-experiencing-a-renaissance-not-seen-since-the-1940s/

    http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/urban-farm-news/2011/07/12/garden-share-poll.aspx

    Meanwhile, you will have to pry Chicken McNuggets from the cold, dead hands of conservatives.

  22. rudderpedals says:

    Poor critters are way late. Field Day is a June thing. http://www.arrl.org/field-day

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @anjin-san: I wondered what was in Chicken McNuggets when my dog wouldn’t eat them….and this was a dog that ate almost everything.

    Also, for a bunch of conservatives, they certainly don’t seem to remember history very well. Remember Victory Gardens? Considered patriotic, frugal, and a wonderful thing for people to do. Why not now?

    (It’s the ability to get real tomatoes and fresh herbs that I’m looking forwards to.)

  24. anjin-san says:

    @ grumpy realist

    In today’s world, real Americans buy GMO modified fruit and vegetables from huge corporations who buy it from corporate factory farms. It tastes like styrofoam, and it is expensive, but at least its not from one of those hippy dippy vegetable gardens that Michelle Obama loves.

    We had French mustards, kale, chard, and collards from our garden the other night, cooked up with garlic and onions we also grew. 100% organic, 100% hippy dippy 🙂

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ grumpy realist

    Check out the Petaluma seed bank

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If you’re going to sexualize Palin to attack her, why not just go full misogynist and drop the C-word? It’s not like she hasn’t been called it before, and you know you’re just dying to let out your inner woman-hater.

    You project an awful lot. Palin is, as you know, a beauty pageant participant and as such is an experienced bikini model. Do you think that she hates herself for wearing a bikini and high heels? Maybe you think Palin should wear a burka as she orders vets to kill squirrels and foxes? I don’t know.

  27. wr says:

    @JKB: My God, is there nothing you can’t whine about?

  28. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: And here comes whiner#2!

  29. Gromitt Gunn says:

    They should be careful, lest Putin mishears and sends agents after the White House moose and squirrel!

  30. anjin-san says:

    the White House moose

    That moose is getting harder to find

    Moose die-off alarms scientists

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You project an awful lot. Palin is, as you know, a beauty pageant participant and as such is an experienced bikini model.

    If you saw anjin’s video and thought you saw a bikini, that says a hell of a lot about you and your life experiences.

  32. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    If you saw my video and did not realize that Palin long ago “sexualized” herself – well, that just says you are a blithering idiot.

  33. JKB says:

    We shall know Obama has jumped the shark when the fox is arrested for espionage for leaking to Fox.

  34. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Frankly, this is the only fox news I can stomach.

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If you saw anjin’s video and thought you saw a bikini, that says a hell of a lot about you and your life experiences.

    I’m not sure about “anjin’s video” but I can safely say this:
    Palin probably looks better in a bikini and stripper heels than does Ted Cruz.

  36. Kari Q says:

    @al-Ameda:

    As long as they’re automatic-squirrel guns, and Sarah Palin is wearing stripper heels and a bikini while she supervises the photo-op, I’ve go no problem with that.

    Utterly inappropriate. Being a beauty pageant contestant nearly 30 years ago does not mean it is appropriate to talk about her strictly in terms of her sexual desirability. I detest the woman and everything she stands for, but for once the conservatives are right on this. Talk about her the way you think it would be appropriate for conservatives to talk about a politician you approve of and they don’t – she has enough glaring personal weaknesses that you don’t need to go for the old standby of belittling a woman by making her merely an object of sexual desire.

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @Kari Q:

    Talk about her the way you think it would be appropriate for conservatives to talk about a politician you approve of and they don’t – she has enough glaring personal weaknesses that you don’t need to go for the old standby of belittling a woman by making her merely an object of sexual desire.

    I apologize to you.

  38. Nightrider says:

    Foxes are pretty common in the DC suburbs and Rock Creek Park. That’s why I know the answer to the question in that viral video.