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.


Michelle is the host of Nature Notes and Signs of the Season. Thank you Michelle.

25 comments:

  1. You captured Mr. Squirrel so well! You know he appreciated all the saved peanuts!

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  2. What fabulous shots. I love squirrels - we used to have a family of 6 visit us regularly in Oregon - and boy did they get through the food fast!!

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  3. Amazing photos!!! Mr Squirrel is so beautiful. I think you miss looking after a little one after your son got married. It's nice to see that someone need your friendship, your love and... your food.LOL:)

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  4. I get similar but its not for the birds in our house its dont eat those they are for the grand children

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  5. Lovely shots of the squirrel,we have red squirrels but can never get a photo as the dog has made them nervous,so they scamper around too quickly to get a good shot.
    I buy coconuts to hang up for the birds,my hubby has to be stopped from hacking lumps off of them,before I get to hang them out.I know this sounds petty,but I bought a coconut just for him and he did not eat it,said he did not like it.So why does he eat the birds coconut,??

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  6. Most of the critters at our house just take the treats and eat them without a smile.

    When I was a kid we used to feed the dog chocolate coated milk balls. That'd get you thrown in dog jail these days.

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  7. Your story about the dog eating Milky Ways reminded me of woman who purchased Old-Fashioned Jackstraws for her dog. I worked as a catalog order taker at the time. The catalog sold specialty foods at Christmastime. A woman purchased three jars of the Old-Fashioned Jackstraws for her dog, who would eat one a day. The Old-Fashioned Jackstraws were chocolate-filled peppermint sticks!

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  8. Beautiful - Nature at its best.
    I love the pic of him as he swishes his tail.

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  9. Oh, poor Gregg! Sad but I laughed! He should have made a fuss, and if he had, you would have caved in and given him a peanut! LOL.

    Beautiful shots, as always, Denise! Love them.

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  10. Wonderful captures, Denise! I ought to purchase some peanuts for our squirrels...if my husband will let me. He's not so fond of them. :(

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  11. What a lucky boy Jason was - Milky Ways indeed! I had to laugh though - one day Barry saw 'cake' in the cupboard and only realised just as he was about to tuck into it that it was bird cake!
    By the way my alternative persona is just like yours ;-)

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  12. This squirrel is adorable and your pictures are really great!
    Also very informative this post, I mean about sugar and chocolates! :)
    Hugs
    Léia

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  13. What a lovely little photo story! I love the squirrels, too. I don't have any where I am now, but I used to always make sure they were well taken care of each winter. It actually kept them away from my feeders, too! ~karen

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  14. Good for you. Feeding the squirrels is the proper thing to do. Most of the older nut trees here where I live or in the vicinity, were cut down as they posed a hazard being old and riddled with dead centers. So the city took them down. A waste to be sure as there was a lot of life in them. An oak tree almost never drops a limb on a human head. Anyway, I planted one oak about 20 years ago and it is producing nuts in some abundance but the thing is empty in no time from the squirrels who come here to pack up and go home.

    Now, in the winter, I feed them unsalted peanuts in the shell and unsalted peanuts already shelled. Plus they can get all the sunflower chips and pieces they want. In the end I am rewarded each time I see them.

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  15. What a lovely post! I was captivated, not only by the wonderful photos but also by your writing! Have a lovely weekend.
    Greetings from the Motherland!
    Janice.

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  16. Wonderful! It's amazing this little fellow let you get so close. He's quite the cutie - and I'm sure he appreciates the peanuts.

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  17. What a great story and such wonderful pictures!!!!
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a nice comment :-)

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  18. Cute pics of the critter! I enjoyed them as well as reading about your childhood memories. The squirrels around here are well-fed indeed with so many acorns in the winter and things from my garden in the summer.

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  19. Some very cute close ups from the squirrel, Denis! Now all I can think of is Milky Ways, but it's the middle of the night, so I have to suffer...:)

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  20. Cute post and shots of the squirrels. They do love the peanuts.

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  21. That's a cute squirrel. I am glad you shared a little with Gregg.

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  22. What a wonderful series of photos, the little squirrel is adorable. He knows there a will always be peanuts at this house.

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  23. What a great post and I know the squirrel is so happy to find food. Wonderful shots.

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  25. What a charming post Denise. It made me smile which was really needed today. I also keep peanuts for the jays and the squirrels and I learned the hard way to keep them in the garage..I love that you like to take care of the squirrels and birds. Thank you for posting to Nature Notes & Signs of the Season...Michelle

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