Squirrels

May 202011
 

And right before “Rapture Day” on Saturday, too.

As we’re again living in a house where we don’t have impending and inherent doom to the squirrels, we’re thinking of starting up the squirrel experiments again. We’ve seen a healthy number of squirrels throughout our new neighborhood and a few peanuts we left out have vanished. This is promising, but first, we decided on a simple test. We got a birdfeeder and hung it outside one of Spooky’s preferred birdwatching windows. We figured that even if the squirrels don’t show up to feast, the little flitting creatures Spooky loves so much will be worth the effort.

Almost immediately we had some results.
This clever squirrel managed to land right on top of the bird feeder.
This little squirrel managed to land right on top of the bird feeder with a jump from the branch.

This clever squirrel managed to land right on top of the bird feeder.
And proceeded to eat its fill. All the other squirrels after this weren’t able to land so neatly as this one did – they stretched out towards the feeder with their front paws while they kept their back paws clinging to the branch. Slick says we’re giving them a good ab workout. Squirrel six packs.

Both pictures were taken through a window screen, so don’t worry if you saw some gray fuzziness there. It’s not a tumor.

We have determined we have plenty of squirrels in the local population that are willing to do a spot of work to get to food. This is truly promising.

As an experiment two-for, the pretty, small songbirds we’d hoped for did come by and pick out all the birdseed spilled onto the ground. Spooky likes watching them, but they don’t seem to excite her. Slick thinks we should move the feeder closer to the window so she has a more exciting view of the winged temptations, but I’m of the mind that the squirrels will clear out the feeder then pop in through the screen to ask for seconds. We’ll see how it goes.

Apr 112011
 

I am not usually a fan of disclaimers, but for this one I’ll allow it.

Warning, graphic animal parts ahead.  Really.

Okay, so it isn’t really that bad, but I had a good time making that warning graphic. Bold colors, stripes, contrast, excessively silly fine print, exclamation point! What’s not to love?! Plus, this may not be what you want to see if you’re about to have your morning coffee. Or a goulash.

Slick and I went for a walk up to the park during our recently wonderful weather. As we passed our own backyard fence, we saw this:
Squirrel head found on our fence wall.
Yes, it is a squirrel head. We are fairly certain.

Squirrel head found on our fence wall.
It isn’t juicy or fresh and those teeth look ill-maintained. The fur is quite ruffled and the skin is dry and faded.

Squirrel head found on our fence wall.
When we went out again to check on it, it was gone.
Don’t quite know what to think about this. I suppose I could speculate, but that is really the whole reason I’m sharing with you lovely dozen readers – so that you may see and share in the weirdness and concoct your own suspicions and tales of how this squirrel head came to rest on our backyard fence.

Have fun with that.

Oct 162010
 

Squirrel, doing their thing.

Right click, View Image to see the full, 1000px W version.

The squirrels, they are everywhere. They are fuzzy and adorable. Some of them have nice, new, darker coats. They are out in the autumn weather, finding supplies for their fat, funding their stashes.

Scroll down for how many squirrels I could see when I took the pic. It isn’t a contest or anything (shit, I really need to do another contest or three. I do not want to be moving prize bag items!) just a bit of distraction for you.

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Four.
Yea, that was fun.

Aug 282010
 

We put up a bird feeder outside one of the windows so that Spooky could be entertained by the birds. They are her favorite and nothing else outside interests her the same way.

Squirrel eating at bird feeder.
We’ve not had a single bird, but we have our own Fuckface.

Squirrel eating at bird feeder.
Spooky is not interested at all in watching Fuckface eat.

Bird feeder FAIL.

Mar 272010
 

With the coming spring weather, Slick and I have been taking to the sidewalks of our neighborhood again.
Squirrel on recycle bin.
Recycle Squirrel. Not wanting to startle it away, I used the zoom on my new Panasonic Lumix and was pleased with these results.

Close to the end of one walk, we were verbally assaulted:
Five tiny, yippy dogs.
These five, teeny but yippy dogs were loud about their feelings.

And from somewhere warmer:
Butterfly in San Antonio.
I was just in San Antonio for work and saw this butterfly land across the parking lot from me. Again, the zoom was pleasing. Try a right click > View Image for a slightly larger version.

There, all better now, right?

Good.

I don’t feel like working on my quilt, nor reading. What to do? Maybe kill zombies, maybe stream a Netflix movie. Hmmm.

Sep 092008
 
Neighborhood tamelife antics.

This squirrel was in the tree in our front yard hurling chucking noises at one of the neighborhood cats in the next yard. I went out to take a picture of her, but being picture shy she decided to vacate the tree instead. She chose to run to the neighbor’s black walnut tree and was promptly chased by Alexis, the aforementioned kitty.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

Alexis doesn’t have front claws (which is shameful, I think) so she didn’t climb the tree, but tried to sharpen her ghost claws instead. I’ve seen a lot of declawed cats do this, as if somehow they are going to be able to sharpen the claws into existence again. She decides to wait attentively at the base of the tree. And wait.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

And wait some more. The squirrel is unperturbed and continues to munch on the green walnuts. Alexis decides to get comfortable while she waits.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.
Slick took both these shots.

It happened so fast I couldn’t get a picture of it, but another neighbor cat, Gizmo, saw the squirrel and ran straight up the tree for the hunt. She closed quickly. I’ve done a shoddy job here of outlining the subjects in a nasty, flashy pink color for easy identification.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.
Slick took both these shots.

The squirrel, of course, jumps easily away to another part of the tree and continues to munch on the walnuts. Gizmo is forced to reposition. This continues to replay itself a few times. Just pretend you’ve seen about six more similar shots and we’ll save the bandwidth for the next generation – conservation and all.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

Meanwhile, Alexis is miffed that she’s not getting any action on the ground (other than the occasional walnut waste & torn off leaf) and another squirrel is merrily romping around the trees on the other side of the street. The squirrels are out in full force right now, especially with the week long and wonderful chill we’ve had here in Cheyenne.

Neighborhood tamelife antics.

The walnut grazing continues as Gizmo tries to get closer to the squirrel.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

Alexis gets excited and climbs the tree! With no front claws, she slid her front legs around the tree trunk as if hugging it and snugged her way up the tree and into the branches. The squirrel takes note that there are now two cats in the tree and starts to behave differently. Alexis arranges herself in the tree towards the squirrel.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

Gizmo notices that she has an audience as the squirrel moves to the top of the tree. I’m starting to get anxious for the squirrel. This whole thing has gone on for about 15 minutes now. I wonder if the neighbors think we’re odd yet.

Neighborhood tamelife antics. Neighborhood tamelife antics.

And then, ACTION! The squirrel seems to have had its fill of green walnuts and dashes away. Gizmo is close behind, but wary of the dangers of a trafficked street, she stops before crossing after the squirrel. The squirrel pauses on the other side when it realizes it is free and clear.

I’m not sure why our next door neighbors haven’t put out the squirrel traps again, but it could be worse. Hopefully they’re just busy. The squirrels continued to romp around the trees and the cats continued to swish their tails wildly every time they noticed the squirrels.

Neighborhood tamelife antics.

Later in the day, the squirrel was back in our same tree that it started in. Cute squirrel, full coat, nice bushy tail.

Jun 182006
 

I had this whole post ready to go, with photos yesterday, but completely forgot about it until I was in bed. My brain got stuck, I guess.

Here is the belated photo of what I was up to on Thursday:

Router about to be used.

I really like the router. I’m not making fancy finished edges or anything, but I’ve managed some nice slots for shelves to slide into. It does leave a sizable pile of pale sawdust behind as well. Although make sure you wear your safety glasses – bits of wood fly everywhere.

Baby squirrel.

Also on Thursday, we caught sight of this little guy. Fresh, new baby squirrel. The adorable cuteness flows out from them in waves. Pictures don’t fully convey the preciousness of a tiny squirrel exploring an area for the first time.

At FLuch on Friday [the 100th FLunch] I discovered the digital macro setting on my camera and reveled in the power of the close-up. These photos are a bit sizable so if they don’t load, don’t wait around – I’m sure they’re not that fascinating to many others. Felt the need to share my excitement and wonder.
Details of a sesame stick.

Examining salt.

My algebra class is snapping along and I’m taking my first exam Sunday morning. My desire is to keep a week ahead in this class, which is a bit difficult since it is a short summer semester. Moving fast! I have an appreciation for the speed at which the classes of the Goddess run.

I’m itching to get sewing again. Gretchen has been set up, ready to go for a couple weeks now and I’ve not had a chance to do much of anything. It does help though, knowing that the sewing machine is sitting right there, ready when I am.

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May 212006
 

Esmerelda investigating the table in the yard.
The most notable local squirrel is this one, Esmerelda. I took these shots of her last week. She’s a curious and forward, but cautious mama squirrel. She takes food off to the west side of the yard, but I’ve not been able to follow her to discover where she lives yet. Spooky is suddenly interested in the local wildlife with Esmerelda causing much tail whipping excitement.
Esmerelda pondering the table in the yard.

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Mar 282006
 
A clever, quiet squirrel

The squirrels are pretty savy critters and they know when they hear the box lid dropping repeatedly, food is available. This morning I saw a squirrel gently retrieving peanuts from the box and letting the lid down without the typical ‘clack‘. Smart squirrel. Picture is of similar instance previously.

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Mar 212006
 

Had to bribe myself to go apartment hunting today. It was depressing, overall.

I don’t have a lot to chat about right now, so instead just check out the squirrels in the snow and the Squirrel Highway on our garage rooftop.

Squirrel Highway in the snow.

Snowy squirrel. Another snowy squirrel.

Mar 082006
 

Yesterday, we saw this squirrel chasing off the young ones for peanuts.

New mama squirrel, March 2006.

She’s a nursing mother, but I didn’t get to see where she headed off to home. That means new little squirrels are coming, spring is eventually coming and there will fresh, fuzzy cuteness near our home again. I think we’re going to call her Matilda, although truthfully it could be Chloris. We’ve not seen her since late last fall.

Mar 052006
 

Destruction outside our home.
This is why we got little and broken sleep on Thursday and Friday. Thankfully they didn’t work on Saturday. The squirrels refused to come out with all the noise going on. This was convenient because our seldom seen neighbor, whose porch roof the squirrels live in, play on and generally call home, decided to put out bird seed. And he didn’t just toss out a few handfuls like last time.
Pile of birdseed in our neighbor's yard.
He seems to have dumped the entire bag of bird seed I saw him carrying into his house into this pile.
We don’t know this neighbor, we’ve waved a few times and that’s it. Being suspicious and also being protective of these little fuzzy rodents, Slick and I stole some of the seed and brought it inside for examination. Gladly, it checked out fine. No worries.
This morning (Sat) the destruction paused in respect for the weekend and the squirrels came out for some tasty peanuts. They do not trust us, still, and are challenging to photograph. Even sitting the camera on the ledge and hiding from their sight doesn’t do it. Difficult little buggers.
Cautious young squirrel would only come this close to the camera.
But they are so adorable. Look at those clawed digits!

Feb 262006
 

Thoughtful, young squirrel.
NO! Not for the squirrel!

I’m done, spent, fatigued, drained. Over and out. Tuckered out, done in. Stumbling forward through my day, not trying to get it all done yet, just trying not to conk out before it’s over.

Fridays are bad for me. Something always happens to make my tough Fridays even harder. Yesterday, work ran really late and I got two hours of sleep. The week before, I managed to get four and a half hours [I was so proud], but then my car wouldn’t start in the -10F weather, my class was cancelled and I missed FLunch by napping for that precious one hour extra I got. Before that, I was only going to get three hours, but my lifelong insomnia flexed and I got zero sleep. I am not good when missing sleep. Not high functioning as my dad would say. I could go on. And on and on… and then a little more. But fuck it, you get the picture. Me: puffy, red, stinging eyes. I’ve made as many typos as there are sentences here. Off balance, weary, unenergetic, raw throat, extra dry sinuses and skin. Unable to follow the breadcrumbs my thoughts leave as I hungrily gobble them up, lost in the blazing forest as the wildlife flees.

It isn’t that I don’t have time. Everyone has time. The exact same time. I’m just not organizing it most efficiently. Yet. One cannot give up hot baths, occasional video games and junk hunting. Nor can one give up classes, work and [here be the greatest target] sleep. Balanced organization is vital. And I’ve been slipping on that front. Down the front of that muddy hill into the ravine, where at the bottom you can look up into the slate gray sky beyond the tall, strange trees and see raindrops falling from the ether all the way down to you and your muddy self, splattered with the remains of your hours and minutes and seconds and days and life. So, I’ve got to get the hell up, demud and possibly change into some fresh socks, depending on how watertight my boots are. I’m fucking tired.

    Posts coming soon:

  • My sis.
  • A possible voice for your wilderness?
  • The Tiny Girl gets feisty!

Stay tuned.

Jan 302006
 

Click for slightly bigger pic.  Three sibling squirrels and the one 'first batch', bigger squirrel.

The three sibling squirrels and their friend, all out for dinner. Also, I need to clean the kitchen windows.


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