Squirrel family takes up residence in College Park West

squirrel family
Mama squirrel, Wasabi, peeks out from the hollowed out fern where she built a nest for her newborn kittens. Courtesy Photo

College Park West residents Jan and Marv Stober recently noticed that a familiar looking squirrel was spending an inordinate amount of time in their backyard patio area. At first, they didn’t’ think too much about it, but started referring to the squirrel as “Wasabi.”

Then one day they noticed that Wasabi had bored into a large Staghorn Fern in the yard. The bulbous section of the fern is raised several feet off the ground. When they had a chance they peeked into the fern cavern and saw four newborn squirrels. Wasabi had made a nest for her young rodents.

The Stobers have a Japanese fountain in their back yard that they call “sushi.” The first time they saw the squirrel, she was drinking from the fountain, hence the name wasabi. The fern is entwined with a peach tree’s branches and wasabi uses the branches to get up to the fern. The nest was discovered after the Stobers saw just a tail sticking out from the fern.

Wasabi also tore stuffing from a patio chair cushion to use for the nest. Jan put away the other cushions, but left the one that was already ripped.

“I left one in case she needs it,” Jan said.

baby squirrels
Four baby squirrels are nesting inside a hollowed out fern in a College Park West back yard. Courtesy photo

Since their son took the pictures, Wasabi has dug the nest deeper and added covering. The babies, whom the Stobers have named; Rice, Cucumber, Soy and Ginger, are not visible from the whole, they are watching to see when the young squirrels emerge.

The Stobers have lived in College Park West for 49 years. Along with the young squirrels, they also had a grandchild arrive in October.

“So we’ve been busy,” Jan said.   

Ted Apodaca is the editor of the Sun News and Catalina Islander. He can be reached at editor@sunnews.org, or 562-317-1100. Follow him on Instagram: @tedapodaca