‘Tis the season …

BLACK SQUIRREL

… to be sneezin’.  Or freezin’.  Take your pick.

Friday morning we awoke to snow.  There was only one inch of slushy snow that adorned the grass, bushes and trees.  It looked very pretty.  It didn’t stay on the pavement so I could walk.  By afternoon, it had all melted; that is my type of snow, the kind that quickly vanishes.

This morning I peered out the door before leaving for my walk.  Some snow must’ve fallen overnight, as it looked like Mother Nature sifted her icing sugar over the grass.  That snow sure wasn’t going anywhere for a while, at 25 degrees with a real-feel of 18 degrees.

I headed down to Council Point Park where Parker and four of his friends greeted me before I even reached the pavilion area.  I know I missed three days of walking here this week due to the rain, wind and snow.  Two of those days I just walked in the neighborhood.  So my furry friends sure were anxious for their treats.  I spread out quite a few peanuts for them, then saw fellow walker Joanne, so we walked two laps together.  Our mouths were going a mile a minute, while catching up since last time we chatted, and I kept stopping to feed more squirrels along the way, but admittedly did not give them the sweet talk that I usually dispense with their peanuts.  There were no cardinals this morning and I showed Joanne the bag of safflower seeds I was toting and told her I was hopeful to lure them to the ground for some photo opportunities.  She had arrived earlier than me this morning, so after she left, I went back and walked the “wild life” loop and lavished more attention to the squirrels who, once again, came running right over with the same pent-up energy as earlier in the morning.

It was bitter cold for April 7th.  While the sun was welcome, it didn’t do much to warm me up.  Despite the cold weather, the maples and elms continue their budding process causing the pollen count to rise as to these trees.

TREE BUDSY.jpg

The maple blossom buds continue to litter the sidewalks as you see.  Earlier in the week I was sneezing my head off, but not so bad today.

TREE LINT

I was on my way home, scuffing through all the maple tree debris, when I heard a peculiar noise high up above.  At first I thought it was a bird in distress, but instead it was a black squirrel crouched on a branch and peering down at me.

BLACK SQUIRREL AND RED BUDS.jpg

He was pure black, save for his tail which had a tinge of red to it, not unlike the color of the red buds in the tree where he was perched.  He was swishing that tail back and forth while mewling and he reminded me of a cat.

It made me a bit uneasy.

Did he perceive me as a threat?  Was he hurt?  I didn’t see anything that could be terrorizing him like a cat or a predator bird, and I sure wasn’t going to do him any harm.  In fact, I see this black squirrel twice a day when I pass under this tall tree when walking to the Park.  I talked to him in a soothing voice, but the cries continued.  I stood there, waiting to see if he would come down to ground level after I scattered some peanuts on the sidewalk.  Nope – he continued making his crying sounds and stayed put.  I didn’t like hearing him do that as I didn’t know if he was hurt, though I couldn’t see anything with my naked eye, or even when I zoomed in close with the camera.  Since I wanted to get a photo of the tree in bloom anyway, his presence just made the photo complete.  I left him to continue my trek home, but couldn’t get him out of my mind the rest of the trip.

Of course once I got online you know I HAD to Google “distress calls by black squirrels” to see if that was the norm or not.   I’ve heard squirrels chattering to one another, or to me, and this was not a normal squirrel utterance.  I found many sites which mentioned the distress calls of various types of squirrels, describing them as a cry, or even a bark.  Here is a video depicting the exact noise I heard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69qMR8fSYy0

I hope he was okay after I left.

Since it is “National No-Housework Day” today, I gave myself a break and lingered a little longer on my walk, giving me a smidge over five miles.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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26 Responses to ‘Tis the season …

  1. Iriowen says:

    Aww Linda! That squirrel might be in trouble or just looking for a partner. ♥️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t read this post in time. *hits head with hand* Not knowing it was “National No-housework Day”, I cleaned the bathroom and twice washed dishes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. AJ says:

    Oh I love that National no housework day! I’ll go with that:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………..that was kind of cool listening to the stress call of that squirrel………………cool meaning that you searched for reasons why and how……………..not because of the stressful sounds of the squirrel you heard this morning………………………….I haven’t seen any tree in blossom yet…………………………….despite the cold spring is on it’s way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – it was a horrible noise and I remember hearing that snorting noise of the swan back about a month or so ago (the one that came out of the water after me, not the “ice-cutter”) . I couldn’t see why it would be angry at me … I pass under that tree on Pagel down by River Drive every day. I can’t coax him down from the tree with peanuts and if he is on the ground, he runs up the tree. I could not imagine it was me scaring him, but maybe it was. I like that you can Google anything – just like the swan sounds, I could find squirrel sounds. I’ll tell you something … many people have encountered squirrels making these noises and were concerned with them if they were hurt or sick. I’ve seen several trees on Pagel … maple trees mostly … lots of red buds on the sidewalk. Spring is taking its good old sweet time.

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  5. John says:

    This spring have been the worst I can remember, but now it looks like it will be better weather. Squirrels is so cute little animals. Great picture, that one with the trees shadow is so beautiful.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you – we are having an extremely cold Spring here as well. It is as if Winter does not want to go. This morning it was only 24 degrees and a windchill in the teens when I went out the door. We are 15 degrees below normal, but supposed to improve later in the week :(finally). Right now, there is not much picturesque to see, though I did go to a park today on the Detroit River and some trees are starting to leaf out, but not many. The squirrels here in the Park where I walk every day tend to be very friendly, even more so if you feed them. This little squirrel is kind of quiet and keeps to himself. I was worried about his cries of distress. I didn’t notice how that shadow fell until you mentioned it as I was trying to show a picture of the tree lint. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Uncle Tree says:

    Nice tree shots, Linda! 🙂 They look to be budding furiously.
    This is puzzling, because the trees here are still bare to the bone.
    I thought for sure I lived “south” of your whereabouts. What gives?

    We do have a few black squirrels in the oldest part of town.
    I used to walk those neighborhoods quite often. I can’t recall
    ever hearing a squealing call like that, and if I did, I would have
    guessed it to be a cat fight (or love affair, whatever). Eerily odd…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lindasschaub says:

    Thank you Uncle Tree. I am uploading pics from this morning’s adventure … it is taking forever as I took many pictures, and likely only 1/4 will be usable. I went to Elizabeth Park which is just a delight due to the ducks of all kinds which are everywhere. I have to Google a brown and white duck which I have never seen before. I got some close-ups of it at the water’s edge. It was 24 degrees and wind chill in the teens – brrr. I even have a sunrise pic or two – inspired by you.

    The maples and elms are starting to bud, and I sure don’t know how this could be either as it has been going to 23 to 25 degrees every night and we’ve had the snow, and snow is in the forecast for Monday or Tuesday again, but not measurable. At Elizabeth Park, they have a beautiful big willow tree and it is near a footbridge. That scene is often the location used for photos for proms, weddings, homecomings, etc. – it is very picturesque. I saw it was in bud and have a picture of it – just yellowish now as it’s not all leafed out. Everything else is still dormant. My ornamental maple never lost last year’s leaves and has no buds whatsoever.

    That squirrel is not friendly. In fact the fox squirrels are much friendly than the black squirrels which are very wiry as they are so small, and thin … they don’t plump up like the red squirrels over the Winter. Other people who feed the squirrels at the Park have remarked that the black squirrels are not inquisitive, nor do they come up to you to beg like the others. But, I’ve never heard this noise. My grandmother lived in Toronto and they only had black squirrels – when she came to the States to visit for the first time, she could not get over all the red squirrels and how they wanted to follow her into the house if she was in the backyard.

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    Like

  9. Squirrels can be very territorial, and when another squirrel (or even human) enters their territorial area then they can get very upset. 🙂

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    • lindasschaub says:

      I will tell you Tom that the noise was very eerie. He has never been friendly when I pass by 2X a day, can’t lure him with peanuts as he just runs away. I was worried he was injured. Several years ago I was outside and heard a terrible screeching noise as I set out on my walk. It persisted and I looked up in the sky to find a large bird chasing after a medium-sized bird in mid-air. Then the noise stopped. I didn’t look up again. I told someone the story and he said it was Peregrine Falcon and that that Falcon had been killing the pigeons. I’m a real softie – I was afraid a predator bird might be terrorizing him … maybe all the time it was me who was terrorizing him by my presence!

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  10. Ellie P. says:

    Yikes, poor little guy – who knows, right? Hope he was ok eventually!
    Gorgeous photos, Linda!! You sure have the knack!

    Liked by 1 person

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