February’s weather has been a real smorgasbord, between the record-high or low temperatures and the gargantuan snow and rain events. As we creep toward the end of this shortest month of the year, we have a trio of sunny and mild days to enjoy before March arrives in lion-like fashion. Yup, the early prediction for March 1st has two different weathermen uttering the “S” word – yes “snow” has tumbled from their lips, because two to four inches of snow is on the way!
But, this February day was fabulous, thus my new word I coined above.
All of a sudden, the days are so much longer. Sunrise was at 7:12 a.m. today and that bright sunshine gave me a chance to get in an extra mile on a weekday. Of course, all that good stuff will end when we go to Daylight Savings Time on March 11th and return to darker mornings for a while.
The sun made me feel good and I watched my shadow as I strode purposely to the Park. I wended my way down Pagel Avenue, stewing over whether the rodent would still be hanging by its long tail on the twig in the tall tree. I wondered if I should call the City to have one of the Department of Public Service workers come with a tall ladder or a cherry picker to retrieve that rodent?
And then I saw him … no, not Parker, or any one of the other peanut pals, but a policeman sitting in his patrol vehicle, monitoring the Park, as they sometimes do, just for a police presence. I walked past the patrol car and his head was bent down, so I passed by … then, on a whim, decided to go back. With my bag of peanuts in one hand in anticipation of a squirrel waylaying me, I went to the driver’s side and he rolled down the window. He was young and gave me a big smile. I’ll bet this was his easiest task of the day hearing my tale, especially after I prefaced the story with “please don’t think I’m strange to tell you this, but ….” I relayed the rodent story and asked if he thought it would be wise to contact the DPS to have them take it away because of the germs and disease that rats carry? I also asked if there were any similar incidents he’d heard of. He smiled and said “no, I’ve not heard anything like that and I think it is a beautiful and safe park and you shouldn’t worry at all.” I thanked him and told him to have a good day, then walked up to the pavilion area.
Hungry squirrels rushed right over and I doled out peanuts quickly as I saw a walker – another new face to me, headed in the same direction as I was going. We commented on the nice weather, and, when we neared that tree, I pointed up and said “look up there!” (I wanted another opinion on the rodent story. ) He did a double take – yup, he also was puzzled, but said it looked like someone hung it there, then suggested it might even be fake, as a predator bird would have grabbed it by now, but added “how the heck did someone climb way up there?” “My thoughts exactly!!!” I said.
I’m not going to dwell on it anymore, but you can bet I’ll look up there, out of the corner of my eye, every day when I pass.
Going forward, I hope I only see cute and furry critters like this squirrel, who tucked himself up in the tree to enjoy his peanut in peace.