The rain finally stopped late Friday afternoon. It had been raining or storming off and on for two days, and, when there appeared to be a lull in those incessant showers, I laced up my walking shoes and set out on a walk.
The water droplets might have ceased, but it was raining tree dander everywhere, thanks to the wind that was humming along around 12 mph. That breeze was just enough to cause green speckles to flutter down from the trees and go airborne. They landed on my clothes and the wind had whipped a big pile of them in front of the garage door.
I decided to stay in the neighborhood, but the winds suddenly picked up and were gusting mightily within a few blocks from home. With each gigantic puff of air, tree dander was flying fast and furiously. I was either sneezing, or on the verge of doing so, so I just gave up and headed home. Unfortunately, decades of allergy shots and a morning OTC pill will not cure my Spring allergies once the trees begin to open, and the high humidity sure wasn’t helping either.
That pesky rain continued off and on throughout Friday, and all the while the winds raged. I swear the house felt like it was swaying back and forth and there were ominous-sounding creaks when peak gusts of 61 mph hit around 1:00 p.m. Years ago, when I worked at an ad agency in the Ren Cen, (then the tallest building in downtown Detroit), on a windy day, just for kicks, the art directors would tape string onto a pencil and hang it on their cork boards, then they’d watch that pencil swing back and forth like a pendulum each time a hefty gust of wind hit the building. Thankfully, I did not lose my power here at home, but I was at the tail end of a project when the electricity went out at work and disconnected me from my work computer. Almost 300,000 Michiganders lost power from this latest storm and the event even made the national news
Today dawned with weather that had no attitude at all. It was overcast with just a hint of sun, but thankfully it was dry and not too windy.
I hustled down to Council Point Park where Spring continues to roll out very slowly. That’s not counting the dandelions which have taken over the Park and will be fodder for another day’s post.
There was just a handful of walkers on the perimeter path when I arrived. I pulled the Ziploc bag of peanuts out of my pocket when I saw a passel of squirrels racing over to greet me. I had just filled up fresh packets this morning and when I opened the bag, they smelled so good.
I scattered some peanuts, then reached for the camera, addressing the crowd of my furry friends that circled around me by asking politely “any takers?”
In my peripheral vision I saw a squirrel high up, calculating how to get to ground level in record time, and I imagined him thinking “oh boy, Linda’s here – hold on, I’m on my way down, so don’t forget me!”
Another squirrel had already begun his descent by scrambling down a tree.
A couple of enterprising squirrels did the I’ll-just-sit-on-my-haunches-and-look-cute-routine hoping their cute antics would warrant a few more peanuts.
I complied, and once they got a treat, they ran over to a corner, or back up in the tree with their prize. Yup, peanut nirvana is easily accomplished up in the tree, or, at least by getting away from the fray, since what squirrel wants a bird to come along and peck its nose to get out of their way? So the squirrels execute some fancy footwork, and hightail it way above ground level.
Or, they simply slink over to the nearest tree to nosh on their nut in peace and quiet.
If you’ll recall my original post entitled “Nutty Buddies” it is not just the squirrels that share in this peanut-eating frenzy. Our fine-feathered friends are front and center as well. For those new followers who have not seen that post, here is the link: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/03/24/nutty-buddies/
After that post back in March, a well-meaning blogger suggested that I not use peanuts for the birds as peanuts contain Aspergillus, a type of mold which could make the birds sick. Well, that notion is easier said than done. I bought safflower seeds and after strewing them on the walking path several times, the cardinals turned up their noses, er … beaks, at them. I even tried those safflower seeds with the neighborhood cardinals and they showed no interest in eating them either. My intentions were good, but invariably a peanut gets scammed by an enterprising cardinal …
… or a savvy red-winged blackbird, who likewise has the swift moves down pat when it comes to honing in on a peanut on the asphalt pathway. His brilliant wing “epaulets” add color in the still-bare landscape, as he scopes out the walking path, ready to make a move to abscond with a peanut when the squirrels aren’t looking. He hops from the lowest branch and quickly swoops in for his treat before any squirrels can shoo him away.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world at the Park sometimes and the critters’ antics give me a smile.