In my daily wanderings down Emmons Boulevard, I don’t encounter too much wildlife; it is quite unlike a walk through the nature nook at Council Point Park. What scant wildlife was on the Boulevard last year, and earlier in the Summer, is now nearly non-existent. I rarely even steal a glance over the footbridge at the borderline of Wyandotte and Lincoln Park anymore, as the ducks and geese have all disappeared.
The rabbits, which were plentiful throughout the Spring, are scant on my strolls these days, and, I can’t help but wonder if they have disappeared into some dark hole? Where did they all go? I hope they have not met their fate ending up as rabbit stew. If that last sentence made you shudder, well ponder this … years ago, a nearby neighbor, who is now deceased, delighted in “hunting” rabbits in the neighborhood. He’d lure them into his backyard garden where he grew every veggie imaginable, then he’d take them out, one by one, with his BB gun. Me, always the nature lover, was horrified to hear him brag about his hunting prowess, or to watch him rub his belly or salivate while discussing his savory rabbit stew dinner. That same old codger would make squirrel pie as well. I didn’t ask for the recipes, believe me.
While the rabbits may be missing in action, the squirrels are not. All Summer I’ve followed the antics of a pair of squirrels who cavort with one another … up, down and around the many trees that line the Boulevard. They jump from branch to branch at the speed of sound, landing effortlessly with nimble paws and sharp claws. These squirrels are playmates and they are so into their games, that most of the time they are oblivious to me, and have gotten used to my sauntering down the sidewalk, and thus pay me no mind. One squirrel is lithe, sleek and inky black while the other is a larger, reddish-brown fox squirrel with a tail that resembles the striped markings on a raccoon’s ringed tail. I have hoped I could get them to pose for me, but I’ve not yet plied them with peanuts, so they figure they owe me no obligatory photo session.
While those gregarious squirrels may be full of endless energy to play, some of their brethren have already begun storing nuts for the Winter ahead. More than once during the past couple of weeks, while walking on the sidewalk and just minding my own business, I heard a dull thud on the sidewalk as an acorn dropped down from the tree over my head. When I swiveled my head upward, a squirrel looked down with a look of disdain that I should have interrupted his nut-gathering efforts by virtue of my happening along. Very quickly he (or she) scrambled along the branch, and headed down the trunk of the tree, just in case I would have the audacity to snatch that acorn before he could clasp it between his paws once again.
As if I would do such a thing ….
I could have used one of my own squirrel picture as I have several squirreled away, but I came across this picture on Pixabay and the squirrel’s scorn is spot on, so I used it to accompany this blog post. There should be a thought bubble over this squirrel’s head that says “who dares to tread near my tree?”
[Image by Nadine Doerle on Pixabay]