Nutty Buddies Revisited.

for me

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!”

up in the treetop

Another squirrel had already begun his descent by scrambling down a tree.

down the 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.

oh boy

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.

away from the maddening crowd

Or, they simply slink over to the nearest tree to nosh on their nut in peace and quiet.

 

love peanuts

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 …

HEADER CARDINAL.jpg

CARDINAL READY FOR PEANUTS.jpg

APPROACHING

… 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.

A.JPG

B.JPG

C

 

It’s a dog-eat-dog world at the Park sometimes and the critters’ antics give me a smile.

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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28 Responses to Nutty Buddies Revisited.

  1. Careful, once they realize you keep bringing them food, they’ll stalk you! 😉 I loved the pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice shots, Linda! 🙂 I saw some squirrels and a red-wing blackbird today while i was out shooting macro nature shots. Most of the time the red-wings are really boisterous, letting everyone in the area know that i’m around but this one was quiet and more forgiving. Even though we got some rain it was bone dry in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Tom, I’m glad you liked them.

      Really, still bone dry in the woods? That’s amazing. It was very wet on the grounds at the Park despite that heavy wind, but we had two days of rain, sometimes torrential. I was going to try a different venue today, but I wasn’t sure how the trail was there, and if was paved, or wood, or just dirt, and given all the rain we had decided against it. Tomorrow late morning we have rain, so I’ll defer the excursion to another time. Those red-winged blackbirds are boisterous sometimes. Last year a a pair of geese and their goslings were coming out of the Creek and a red-winged blackbird started acting up and pecking the one goose for no reason. The blackbird was in attack mode, body hunched over, wings flapping and a pretty lethal-looking beak was open and squawking at them. I watched the whole episode unfold. I do like their call though – reminds me of walking through a meadow. Growing up, I lived in a new subdivision and at the end of the street was a meadow and creek. Lots of tadpoles, frogs, fish, birds – the year we moved to the States they started building a big mall at that meadow site.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Red-winged Blackbirds are very territorial. They especially fight each other over territory.
        Sad about a mall instead of a meadow. Mankind takes too damn much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Those red-winged blackbirds … beautiful, but never felt the same about them after seeing that one start picking on the goose – really?! It is how much bigger than you? It was like it was crazed or something.

        Yes, it was sad – big mall and took the place of a nice wooded area and a meadow, stream back in the day. Mankind expanding his horizons gets out of hand sometimes just to make a buck.

        Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      This is the post I referred to from last year – the red-winged blackbird just went a little crazy and attacked the Canada Goose who was minding its own business. I did not take a picture of the attack as I worried about the red-winged blackbird attacking me … it is was in some type of crazed mode for some reason. The pics are near the bottom of the post. Years ago, a man was walking down the street and there was a bluejay in the tree above with a nest with babies nearby. All the poor man did was walk down the street and the jay went crazy pecking him. He was bald-headed and the jay pecked his head until it was bloody and he felt to the ground. The neighbor had to call an ambulance for him as he was bleeding profusely. I like birds, but when they are in a crazed attack mode, I steer clear from them. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/07/17/yikes-those-ol-bully-birds/

      Like

  3. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………….I just love your opening picture of the squirrel with a few forsythia buds in the background……………………….oh that strong wind was scary indeed…………………..I was waiting for a traffic light at Allen Rd and Goddard Rd and those heavy traffic lights were swaying back and forth…………………….and the winds took out electric lines on Pardee rd so I had to figure how to get around that area………………….plus the backed-up traffic from road construction………………..it gets unbearable……………………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked that photo Ann Marie – I thought he looked wistful, like “please feed me soon” and the nice backdrop of the Creek behind him. It was not a great walking day today – more clouds than sun, but at least the wind was minimal and NO rain! Many years ago my father was at a stoplight, waiting for the light to change, and it was windy weather like yesterday. I recall him telling my mother and I at dinner that he was thinking the light looked wobbly and a few minutes later, the light turned green, he left and then heard a crash and saw in his rear-view mirror the stoplight and its wire had come down. Ever since then, I am always thinking of that episode whenever I’m out on a windy day. I heard about all the lines down in Taylor – that must have been the ones on Pardee Road. Driving is no pleasure for me, but not even for you who is a seasoned driver, when you have such conditions. It’s a wonder it was not a “soup kitchen day”!!

      Like

  4. John says:

    Those birds is so beautiful.😊 I have not seen a squirrel this year, and I have been at places that I know there its lots of them. Today we will have the warmest day in this spring, well, I want to say summer, the spring have forgot to show up,😁 It will be 77°F or more and I will film and take photos when Jenny ride her horse outdoor in a track a bit outside Kristianstad. I’ll drive her horse trailer to the track.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindasschaub says:

    Those birds are beautiful John and I wish I’d see more blue jays there as they are beautiful as well. One time I saw a whole tree full of them a few months back. They were agitated about something and screeching away but I saw no danger. It was like summer for us earlier last week – three days in the 80s which is way too hot too soon, and this is what caused our three days of bad weather, two severe storms. We have storms again today so I will leave shortly to be back before the rain and thunderstorms start. It sounds like a nice outdoor outing for Jenny and Poetry. At the Kentucky Derby yesterday they had an all-day rain and they said it was the rainiest race day in the Derby’s 144-year history. The pictures of the jockeys and horses splattered with mud was a sight to see. If the highlights of the Kentucky Derby was not in your news cast, you and Jenny should check out this photo of the winner, Justify, and the sloppy track. Luckily none of the horses slipped in the mud. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/05/sports/kentucky-derby.html

    Enjoy your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Uncle Tree says:

    Happy Sunday morning to you, Linda! 🙂 Reading your words and seeing your pics puts my mood on the lighter side of life. Thank you!

    The first Cardinal pair of the year showed up outback yesterday. Sure adds some color to the regular crew of blackbirds, grackles, and sparrows. I also saw a few goldfinches last week, with their bright yellow bellies flitting around. They never sit still for long.

    The Derby was a sloppy affair, no doubt. Love seeing all the silly hats there every year.

    Watch out for all those marathoners out there on your walkabout today. They seem to be running one in every big city. Perfect weather here for Lincoln’s long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Uncle Tree – I am glad to put you in fine spirits and a good mood with my pictures. I took a slew of pictures today as well and will put them out in dribs and drabs over the next week or so. I saw goslings at the Park for the first time this year – very cute bundles of fluff clustered near their parents, and the second time around the walking loop, they had moved over by a tree and were grazing and they were not so small, so I don’t know where they have been hiding all these days to get that big already. You can go looking for your Nebraska goslings soon – I remember you had some pics of them when you went to an area that had water (not nearby where you live).

      The cardinal at the Park is becoming a regular visitor and got some more pics today, as well as the red-winged blackbird. The red-winged blackbird was having a hard time eating the peanut and I Googled to see what they eat when I got online – I’m not toting mealyworms for it, but I see they like cracked corn, so I may get some of that if they sell it in the wild bird food area at the grocery store. I aim to please. 🙂 I saw a goldfinch today too – would have made a beautiful picture as he was in a flowering pear tree … the tree was full of blossoms and there he sat, but he was so high up and as you know, they are so tiny, that I just gave up trying to get a photo. Once the thistles are in bloom, the goldfinches will be all over them. Last year I got a few close-ups of a goldfinch at the Park:
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/08/09/golden-boy/

      I watched the Derby online and could not believe how mud-splashed the horses were and how one or more of them did not slide and break a leg in that very sloppy track, it is a wonder. Did you see the ladies in their silly hats covering their hats/clothes with the clear ponchos? That rain just never let up and speaking of rain, we had a doozy of a storm today. Big hail (3/4 of an inch to 1 inch) and torrential rain for about 2 1/2 hours. I was uploading pics and got off the computer as it was rumbling out there and hear the hail. Water up to the curb. I don’t like all this volatile weather.

      We had a big Race for the Cure yesterday in Detroit. I have actually signed up for a few walks this year … did my first 5K last year and it was fun. I usually walk 5 miles daily so the 3.2 mile route was not a challenge, but it was very hot and race started at 9:00. I just ambled along as I took pictures for the blog but still placed. We had bibs and microchips so it was fun and we walked at the Park I walk in daily plus another mile in the streets. People were cheering us on – it was to raise $$ for education.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ellie P. says:

    Never heard the term “tree dander” before. Must look it up!
    Fabulous pix – espec. the cardinal, and also the squirrel’s tail in some of them, beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ellie – my allergist used that term and so I used it and I Googled it after reading your comment and there is no such thing that I could find. But he used it as a description for all the stuff that flies through air from the trees once they leaf out, or when they start to bud. I actually took a pic of it and will include it in my post if I can get the post done today. We had a bad storm, lasted nearly three hours, hail, torrential rain, and was offline for all that time as it was also an electrical storm. Those squirrels are called Fox Squirrels because their tails resemble fox fur. Some of the tails are so busy, that I have to take the photo horizontally to get it all in the picture frame. 🙂

      Like

  8. Linda – I just love your photos and stories – they make my day! Oh the sneezing the pollen is thick and everywhere! Good grief – peanut concerns, everytime you turn around someone says don’t. They are lucky to have you giving them regular treats – then again someone will say you shouldn’t do that too – because they’ll rely on humans too much. Where do you draw the line? Good intentions and all that. xo kim

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lindasschaub says:

    Thanks for saying that Kim – you know, I have fun when I go to the Park and they are rushing over for treats or today, one was climbing on my shoe to try to reach the treats as I was trying to take some pictures of the birds going for the nuts. I know about the “you can’t eat this, you can’t eat that” – it is as bad as it is for humans. And funny thing today, the red-winged blackbird and cardinal are now always there when I feed the squirrels … today, the red-winged blackbird was having trouble cracking the peanut he stole from the squirrel. So, I Googled what to feed him – they like cracked corn, so I guess I am either going to PetSmart for that or the chicken feed store 🙂 so I can perhaps get a few more of those birds in the pictures. I also see they eat meal worms, and there I draw the line – I am not buying meal worms for the birds in the Park, so there!! Take care.

    Like

  10. AJ says:

    Wow you get great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks AJ – the squirrels are easy as they are pretty sedentary once they get their peanuts;the birds swoop down for peanuts and you have to be quick to catch them. Sometimes I get home with pics that are missing tails or snouts as they moved!

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Lol I’m still impressed!! They are always gone by the time I get my phone out to take a picture

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        I have a lot of duds too though … tonight I’ll post about the goslings, some warm-and-fuzzy shots and my friend’s Mama Robin whose eggs hatched on Saturday. Your students would be impressed – hatchlings have closed eyes, you can see their veins through the transparent skin and a big beak (or you would not know they were baby birds). Not as warm and fuzzy-looking as the goslings yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Hmm that’s really interesting! I didn’t know that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        For some reason two of your comments went to SPAM today – first time for you going there. I wanted to comment that I found this great site about baby robins and it had a lot of facts and figures in it, in case you ever come across a nest and can tell your students about it … I found these facts interesting: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/facts_baby_robins.html

        Like

  11. I laughed that your weather had no attitude. Loved the photos, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne and I didn’t write a post yesterday as we had a bout of severe weather, but I took a photo of the rat. Now I looked and reported to you it was gone – I will send you the photo in the partially green trees so you know it is a new photo … will send separately, going to do a post about the goslings in the park yesterday and update on Evelyn’s Robin and her babies.

      Liked by 1 person

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