It was early morning and still pitch dark outside. I was at the kitchen counter top divvying up several large cellophane bags of roasted peanuts in the shell and placing them into Ziploc bags. After separating those peanuts, I always store the individual Ziploc bags in an old cookie jar, so I can just grab a bag as I’m headed out the door for my daily walk.
I had been listening to the news while doing this task, with an ear tuned to the weather forecast, since the weatherman had predicted rain in the very early a.m. and it hadn’t happened yet. I was about to click off the radio and get dressed to leave, when there was a “tease” for an upcoming story about some squirrels acting very squirrelly in New Orleans, so I waited to see what mischief had transpired. I figured they chewed on some electrical wires as squirrels are fond of doing.
Well the story was about neighborhood squirrels in a Lake Vista neighborhood in New Orleans. In that beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood, the squirrels have become so aggressive they have attacked four residents in the neighborhood since Sunday. The gentleman who was the subject of the news story, told the reporter, that an errant squirrel dropped down out of a tree and landed on his back, so he quickly grabbed the squirrel and threw it to the ground. The squirrel didn’t like that much, so he showed the man who was boss, by turning on him, biting him in the ankle. The gentleman is now undergoing a series of painful rabies shots. One of the squirrels even gained access to someone’s house. Yikes!
I am always mindful that any of the critters I encounter along the way are wild animals. Those squirrels may be endearing when they come running over to me for their daily ration of peanuts as I’m walking the perimeter path, so that is why I ensure I always carry their favorite treat with me. Otherwise, I’ll get a parade of squirrels following me around the walking trail until they just shrug their shoulders and give up for the day. But, what if they got really ticked off one day as I had no treat for them – what would happen? While it is cute when they start stepping on my shoes to climb up for the Ziploc bag that I hook onto my fanny pack, I try to discourage it on a routine basis, just because you never know when they will go squirrelly on you.
Most of my squirrel interactions are on the ground along the perimeter path, but, as you know from some of the photos I’ve used in this blog, occasionally my furry friends are on a bench or scrambling down a tree. I am always a few feet away from them when I take pictures. However, recently when I was at Council Point Park, I was walking under a tree and heard some rustling above my head. It was too loud to be a bird, and I looked up to find this squirrel looking down at me.
Now, you may think all squirrels look alike, and, for the most part they do. Sometimes they have some identifiable marks on them … a patch of discolored fur, or they’re missing part of a tail, or some other characteristic. This fellow was not one of the regular Park squirrels because it had pronounced dark markings around its face, particularly its mouth, which gave it a rather menacing look. This squirrel took an aggressive pose and glared at me, for no apparent reason.
I had the camera out and took a few shots of him, as he and I were giving each other the once over, then I went on my way, leaving him looking at me as if to say “forgive me for asking, but where do you think you’re going?”
Later, when I uploaded the pictures, I took a good long look at this squirrel with the odd demeanor, and vowed to stay clear of him in the future. I’d like to think it was just one squirrel with a big attitude, hopefully not one that was sick or rabid, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Well, Mother Nature’s critters are not the only thing that may wreak havoc on my walking regimen sometimes. I set out for my walk, and, though the pavement was still speckled by raindrops which happened since the last time I peered out the front door, I saw no raindrops on my hands or jacket, so off I went on my walk. I got to the pavilion area which is the entrance to Council Point Park and it started misting lightly. I dragged out the umbrella and turned on my heel and left for home. Hmm, sometimes it’s better to just hunker down in the house and stay put.
That nearly two-mile round trip to the Park got my total to just shy of 655 miles walked in 2017, which would have left me a measly 100 more miles to reach my final goal. Thwarted by the rain today, I will try again tomorrow, unless Mother Nature puts a damper on my morning walk again.