Today is Sweetest Day, which many say is just another Hallmark holiday designed to have you spend $$ for flowers or candy or something special for your main squeeze. (Wait, wasn’t that what Valentine’s Day was for?)
I did a little sharin’ the love with the squirrels. It was a two-part love fest for them and it began on Friday.
Pumpkins for munchkins.
I’ll show you this picture from a long-ago blog post, so you can see how squirrels like pumpkins … perhaps you’ve had the jack-o-lantern on your porch ravaged by squirrels long before Halloween arrives. I know when I walk in the neighborhood, if people have their carved pumpkins out on the porch, I’ll just bet a squirrel is trying its best to get in through the biggest cavity, usually the mouth.
Those squirrels like the smaller gourds too, so I decided to get two bags of mini pumpkins for the munchkins this year. I’ve done it in the past and dotted those mini pumpkins along the walking path to put them up for grabs. But, since the advent of the hawk(s) in the Park, I did the same as with the apples a few weeks ago – I held back many on the picnic table under the pavilion and put some along the path close to the bushes.
First, I took pictures of the pumpkins.
Then I dumped them all into a heavyweight tote bag. I got ready to leave on my walk and when I picked up the bag – yikes! I figured I’d rip my arm out of the socket if I carried them like that, so I decided to drive to the Park.
By the time I ended up on the walking path, I was much later than usual and a few other walkers who feed the squirrels had already arrived and fed them. Despite seeing cracked peanut shells littering the trail, it didn’t stop those little squirrels from begging when they saw me.
You know the drill by now … looking up with sad eyes and pawing my shoe and pant leg for peanuts. That would include Parker, who was right there when I arrived at the Park. I set the tote bag on the path, then plunked down two pumpkins – one for Parker and one for his pal who was also dancing around the tips of my shoes. Hmm – I guess the moniker of “The Peanut Lady” is widespread at this venue. Well, those two squirrels looked at me with pleading eyes, so I pointed at the pair of pumpkins. Admittedly, their heads swirled to look at the two gourds I placed on the path.
But, because I am such a sucker, I gave in and added a small pile of peanuts as well. In deference to me, they each gave a pumpkin the sniff test …
… but peanuts were their preference.
What can I say – it is what it is!
I know I’ve taken mini pumpkins to the Park before, and the squirrels either ate them on the spot, or scurried away, their sharp front teeth clenched on the twisted stem to grab them “to go”.
I had twenty pumpkins in all, so I put some on the picnic table and seats and the cement beneath the tables, so they could feast without watching their backs for any hawk that may swoop down.
The rest I placed along the perimeter path, but close to the bushes so they could take them to where they stash the goodies they forage or get from the walkers.
The second time around the perimeter path, I was checking out what they were doing with their “gifts” … the pumpkins were untouched under the pavilion, but the others were moved a little or on their side, with peanut shells in abundance.
I told them I’d be back to check on whether they ate their treats on Saturday morning.
Everything tastes better with peanut butter on it.
So, I had several little excursions planned for today. One by one, I crossed them off my list as the weekend neared and stormy weather mid-day and early afternoon was predicted. I had intended to go on a hay ride at the Harvest Festival at Crosswinds Marsh which was 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., and I planned to walk on the trails through that nature preserve before the event. But, we had rain last night and with today’s storm, that was off my agenda. The various weather folks were all over the map about the storm to begin anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. today, so I decided to scratch all plans and go to Council Point Park, then walk over to Wyandotte to check out the harvest décor on Emmons Boulevard. (We did up have rain around 1:00 p.m. and a gusty thunderstorm in the 3:00 o’clock hour; the rain has continued since then and turned into sleet with power outages from the 50 mph winds. There seems to be no end to this wacky weather in 2018.)
I arrived at Council Point Park around 8:45 a.m. and two walkers who had already gone once around the loop, mentioned that the pumpkins were gone, so the squirrels gobbled them up after all yesterday’s peanuts were eaten or hidden.
I came bearing treats today too – yes, I know that those mini Nutter Butters are not the best choice for my nutty buddies, but I paired them with peanuts so they did get a healthy treat as well. I just brought one cup of them with me today.
You may recall I gave the squirrels mini Nutter Butters this Summer and they loved them. They are small, peanut-flavored sandwich cookies with a layer of creamy peanut butter inside. For each squirrel who came begging this morning, they got cookies AND peanuts. I had to have a coat with big pockets – on the left side I had two Ziploc bags of peanuts, on the right side the canister of Nutter Butters.
The cookies were chomped on first; the peanuts were taken to hide for later. Now tell me you don’t think there is pure joy on this squirrel’s face while eating a Nutter Butter!
It was beautiful at the Park this morning unlike the last two days and I could leave my gloves off to use the camera. I took several photos of my furry pals as I fed them and leisurely meandered along the trail. Even the young’uns got into the action. (P.S. – you know he’s a youngster by that skinny tail.)
I did three miles at the Park, then headed to Wyandotte to check out the holiday décor. I got some nice pictures to use in upcoming blog posts
It was an impromptu morning meander to my nature nook and in the ‘hood, one that gave me six more miles to add onto my total miles walked this year.
Happy Sweetest Day!