Tails from the trail.

hark who goes there

I know you think I made a spelling boo-boo, but I did not.  Today’s post is a tale about tails on the trail, and no, it’s not a sequel to the post about “Stubby” that hapless squirrel who’s missing half his furry tail.

But first, let’s back up a bit.  It was truly a glorious morning, coolish temps in the 60s and low humidity and a sheer pleasure to be out and about.  I’m savoring these few cooler days as heat and humidity return the end of the week and then it is a stormy weekend.

I’m happy to report that my furry pals, a/k/a the squirrels, are slowly returning to the Park’s perimeter path again.  A fellow walker, (who, like me, always carries a Ziploc bag of peanuts on his hip), had a suggestion in response to my query “have squirrels been begging for peanuts from you?”  He said “no, not really” but, when I said I worried that the squirrels were fearful of the predator birds circling overhead, he suggested they were likely getting their food source from pinecones and the berry bushes scattered around Council Point Park.

While some of my old-time furry friends are coming around once again, I’m dismayed that I’ve yet to see Parker, my favorite Park squirrel.  I hope it is just that he’s relocated to a nearby neighborhood, or he’s just not roaming around at ground level the same time that I am there.  The other squirrels don’t dog me for peanuts by climbing up onto my shoe or trying to scale my leg – nope, Parker is rather unique in that respect.

Here’s Parker’s picture – if you see him, tell him I’m looking for him.

squirrel standing up and dead leaf

And, then there are the youngsters, those young squirrels that I refer to as the “new kids on the block” – it’s not that these young squirrels have an attitude, but instead, they don’t associate me as a benefactor, a kindly soul who can tender peanuts to them.  They don’t understand that concept yet and they are very skittish.  If they are sniffing around on the perimeter path and I arrive, they run the other way.  They don’t recognize me and instead, scramble off  the trail to hightail it up the nearest tree ….

maybe

… or into a hidey hole where I can’t find them (or so they think).

hidey hole

If I toss out peanuts, they don’t even sniff them, but walk right on by.  Clearly they’ve failed “Acting Squirrelly 101” and, as much as I’d like to interact with them, I refuse to crack a peanut in my teeth and nibble on that redskin morsel to demonstrate to these young rascals how to enjoy a peanut.

Fox squirrels have litters twice a year, in March and July.  The March litter are helpless, dependent on their parents for nourishment, until approximately 3½ months old.  So this slew of youngsters are from the March litter and on their own basically.

So, how do I know them from their parents?  Why, by their tails … their bodies are very slender and their tails are long and skinny and they don’t flick those tails very much.

This morning I saw only the youngsters and they ran the other way when I sprinkled out a half-dozen peanuts onto the pathway.  Other walkers, who came upon me muttering “one day you’ll learn” as I walked away, told me I’d lost my touch.  Maybe so, or they are playing hard to get.

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 Tails from the trail.

  1. That’s interesting that you can tell a young squirrel by its tail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I don’t know if it is scientific, but these young squirrels are as skinny as a rake and their tail is very skinny and they don’t flick it at all. They are scared of me – must be their first human encounter.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Fred Bailey says:

    Your blogs are NUTS…Great stuff, you can name one after me.
    Great photos.
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  3. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    i am glad you are having furry and bushy tales to tell again( tails, I meant). Why is Parker yellow by the way ? The other squirrels look orange or red .
    All the squirrels I have seen in North America and England are fat or fluffy. The ones we see here are like they are on a starvation diet or perhaps they just have less fur. I love squirrels though but I don’t think I could have one as a pet. I know of a story where an authoress adopted a squirrel- she wrote a whole book on the squirrel from when she got it first to when it died- 2 years later. It was a sad happy story- I hate animal stories that end with the animal dying.
    What did the ” one day you’ll learn” comment mean, I wonder ? Were they being mean ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I don’t know why he looked a different color Susie – might have been the lighting. I’ve got nicer pics of him sitting on the tops of my shoes, but that was one of the last ones I had of him so I used it. These are young squirrels and are afraid – I think they may see humans, but there are only about three or four of us feeding them in the morning and they must not understand that it is food for them. They look at the peanuts, they look at me and run away, not even trying them. I was saying “some day you’ll learn” … it is food, sustenance, you should try it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………….I like the title: “Tails from the Trails.”…………..clever,,,,,,,,,and “Acting Squirrelly 101″………………………….

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Those younger squirrels are skittish and I can’t lure them for peanuts Ann Marie. I put them out and they just run away and don’t come back to eat them. They’ll get friendly as time goes on I guess or take lessons from their parents.

      Like

  5. AJ says:

    Parker is very cute, but I think having a squirrel that close to me would be a little nerve racking

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi AJ – actually I don’t worry about them as much as the geese going after me, and I stay my distance from the geese, especially when they have their goslings with them. They are a force to be reckoned with then. The one squirrel, Parker, would come up very close or sit on my shoe while waiting for peanuts. Some people hand feed them … I don’t and won’t do that as I don’t want my fingers near them in case they’d bite. They are still a wild animal and could be rabid. But there are several of the men walkers who do feed them by hand, squatting down and giving them peanuts from hand to paw. I watch the squirrels and their behavior. Last year one squirrel was acting strange – up above my head and chattering at me. I had the feeling he might pounce down on me, so I went a different way. My friend lives in rural New York and she was walking and a squirrel jumped out of a tree and landed on her shoulders … now that would just freak me out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        I’m glad you take precautions:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I do AJ – they are cute, but I don’t want to be bitten, whether they are rabid or not. I’m every wary with dogs who are in the Park, on a leash, who rush up a little too quickly and are very large. There are many issues of people having dog bites and maulings – we have many maulings by pit bulls of their own family members. Very scary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Oh I’m probably not cautious enough around dogs. I always find it interesting that pit bulls were originally bread as nursery dogs to take care of the children. Just goes to show it’s not the dogs, but the owners that are the problem

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes and people will say their pit bulls are friendly around families but if they want to defend those families, you’d better watch out! It is the owners and how they raise them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        For sure!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. John says:

    Very beautiful picture you have taken of the cute squirrel!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them John. The squirrels are coming back slowly, the adult ones are still hiding most of the time … the youngsters are scared of me and even peanuts cannot make them come over as they run away leaving the peanuts sitting there on the trail.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha I bet as soon a you were out of sight they grabbed them and ran!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re probably right, though I walked that loop a second time and the peanuts were still there. Sometimes walking through the neighborhood I will feed the squirrels – some see me and come running over and others look at me as I stand there trying to entice them with peanuts as if I’ve lost my mind!

      Like

  8. Squirrels are like little monkeys in many ways! Once, in very hot weather, we were canoeing and saw a squirrel jump in the river and take a long swim to cool off! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Really – wow! Tom, I had no idea they would know how to swim – I’ve never seen them jump into the Ecorse Creek which runs parallel to the Park, but it is so dirty they’d probably be afraid no one could find them in there. Those squirrels are pretty agile and I have no idea what this one squirrel was doing in the hole at the base of the tree … I saw him go in there and he was by himself and I took his picture, but I studied it afterward and have no idea if he was somersaulting or what?

      Like

  9. Ellie P. says:

    Probably as soon as you walked away, the little ones jumped on the peanuts! (Either that, or maybe they were allergic!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ellie – I would think they were playing hard to get too but the second time around that loop, there are the same peanuts sitting there untouched. The cardinal and red-winged blackbird do swoop down and get peanuts, but they only take away so many, and they are just left there. Silly gooses – they don’t know what to do with them I think? Peanut allergy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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