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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Nature Notes and Signs of the Season
I had a visitor this afternoon. I haven't seen him for a while. I think he has been safely tucked up in his nest in one of the trees out back. When the sun came out there he was, rooting through the snow with his nose. I had been drinking a cup of coffee and noticed the movement. Usually I hear the Blue Jays calling for me to throw their peanuts out but I was a little slow today.Mr. Squirrel wondered if I had any peanuts for him and I told him always, and I threw out a couple of handfuls which bounced and scattered across the snow. He isn't brave enough to take one out of my hand and I don't think I am brave enough to offer it. My other personality scoffs at me for being so timid. That's the personality who would love to bungy jump and sky dive, and even go up in a hot air balloon one day. That I might do, the others I will leave to my other personality, the brave one who would like to kayak down the Amazon, scuba dive in the Pacific and climb mountains all over the world. Here are those tasty peanuts still in their shells. I protect them from Gregg who likes to eat them whenever he passes by the bag. I tell him they're not for him but for Mr. Squirrel and his friends, and as soon as the words are out of my mouth another memory comes to mind.I am my parents after all, for in the days before we knew that chocolate was bad for animals, my parents used to buy a large bag of miniature Milky Ways for our dog as a treat. I KNOW but we're going back 45 years here. I would pass the bag and help myself, only to hear "Don't eat Jason's Milky Ways, they're not for you!" I, who had to ask my dog's permission to eat one of his Milky Ways - okay slight exaggeration but not far off - was now saying the same thing to my dear husband. Poor man, he married a woman who protects bags of peanuts and keeps them for her furry-feathered friends, and is told, "They're not for you, they're for the Squirrels and Blue Jays."Here is one squirrel who is glad I protect his bag of peanuts. He's doing a happy dance and takes one onto the deck rail where he munches away until it is finished, scampers down to get another one, repeating this process a dozen times. I think the snow must be too cold for his tiny feet. I keep hoping he will turn and give me a nice big smile..... but his attention is on getting those tasty peanuts out of their shells. At last he looks around and gives me a smile.... and taking one last peanut back home for later, he finally retreats..... by scampering up a tree . Look at him go! He's a brave little squirrel and as I watch him doing his own version of bungy jumping and sky diving, I realize he and my other personality are twin souls. He is soon out of sight with his Milky Way, I mean peanut. I will be putting all the names of my visitors for this week into a hat and on February 24th, I am going to ask Gregg to delve into it and pick one out. That person will win a small box of goodies in celebration of my 1000th post which you can read about here.