Happiness in the ‘hood.

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The past few days have been splendiferous and since Ol’ Man Sol was actually around, I could start my walk earlier, thus eking out five miles each day.  Last Sunday, the weatherman said we’d have great Fall weather (‘bout time) through next Sunday evening and I was ecstatic since it is all about bulking up my steps right now before the snow starts a flyin’.  By Tuesday, there was a slim possibility of rain on Saturday and on Wednesday it was “sorry folks, we’ll have off-and-on bouts of showers and cold weather Saturday and a couple of rain showers on Sunday.”

I wasn’t happy to hear that – another weekend tarnished by bad weather.  For me, it’s hard to embrace a rainy walk at any time, let alone, when the air temperature is around 40 degrees.

So, these sunny days have been welcome and I’ve been wearing a silly grin on my face, just like this scarecrow.

It was really cold when I went out this morning.  We’d had another hard freeze and there was a frosty glaze on the grass.  Right away I saw my breath, a swirl of thin vapor that filled the morning air.  The chimneys were spouting out great puffs of smoke.  This is way too early for all this nonsense.  Not only did I hear the crunch of leaves when I scuffed through them as I made my way to Council Point Park, but the sound of ice scrapers doing their work on car windshields also factored into the morning noise equation.

At the Park I was told there was another coyote sighting in the field by the large electrical tower – well great, just great.  But my walk was without incident  … three loops, two on the interesting side, and one on the boring side, peanuts doled out, smiling faces (well I think the squirrels look like they are smiling sometimes).  I left the Park and checked for Parker and pals at our usual “meet-up rock” and he was nowhere to be found, so I began wending my way along Pagel Avenue to head home.

I’d already tucked the camera away, closed the Ziploc bag of peanuts and zipped up my coat, when suddenly I heard a rustling noise.  It was close by.  Was it the coyote prowling around the ‘hood?  I saw no wild critter when my eyes took in a cursory view of the street, but I did glimpse a Fox Squirrel sitting atop a massive, lumpy-looking pumpkin that was part of a homeowner’s harvest décor.  Oh, for goodness sake – I had to get a picture of this squirrel sitting there like he was King of the Hill.  I knew the photo would not come out very well as it was quite shady thanks to a big tree on the City property, but I dragged out the camera anyway.

GREAT PUMPKIN FINAL

KING OF THE HILL

He looked right at me with a rather indignant look on his face, so I got this shot …

SQUIRREL ON LID

… and then he bolted from the pumpkin top to quickly scramble up the cornstalk to hide from me.  I wanted to call out “I still can see you, but you do blend into that cornstalk nicely.”

SQUIRREL IN CORNSTALKS RIGHT SIDE UP.jpg

He made a loud rustling sound, as he climbed and maneuvered around the dry cornstalk, his sharp nails hugging the tree and his furry body blending into the brown and ochre-colored background.  I  took out the Ziploc bag and shook it, then put down some peanuts.  The peanuts on the sidewalk piqued his interest and seemingly was an incentive to pose, so he turned upside down and headed down toward the top of the pumpkin again, but he was stubborn and made no move to come over to see me.

SQUIRREL TOPSY TURVY.jpg

At least I now knew what the initial rustling noise was I heard.  There was a little black squirrel similarly climbing around the cornstalk only in the back.

FRONT FINAL.jpg

I left him some peanuts on the sidewalk too, but he didn’t budge from exploring the smaller pumpkins and probably trying to take a chunk out of them.  I was already running late and figured I’d better pick up the pace, so I tucked the camera away and headed for home.  But in the next block was another black squirrel who was perched on a small rustic wood wagon.  He was eating the mum plant and  it would have been a great shot had the camera been handy.  I reached to unzip my coat and he bolted, scared by the sudden movement of my hand.  He hi-tailed it up a tree.

CLIMBING UP

Then from his lookout he studied me.   I offered peanuts and a little sweet talk and soon convinced him to clamber down from the tree, get some peanuts and pose for me.

B

E

I dropped a pile of peanuts at his feet when he was at ground-level and said “now that wasn’t so bad was it?”  He was so cute and enjoying his peanuts so much, I almost picked him up under my arm to take him home as a pet.

ANGEL1

SIDEWAYS.jpg

CUTIE1.jpg

The sun sure felt good and I hated to end my walk, but knew I must get home for work.  I had a double treat … walking in my favorite nature nook and some harvest time happiness in the ‘hood.

I’ll leave you with this quote:

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” ~~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

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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43 Responses to Happiness in the ‘hood.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Ms. “Splendiferous”………………………………..nice large, colorful, close-up pictures of the squirrels…………….and gorgeous pumpkins……………………..we can handle this degree of cold!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Dear Fellow Walker Ann Marie – I fear this may be the nicest week of our entire Fall with rain beginning late afternoon today and continuing through the weekend – sigh. In the meantime, you and I shall walk our socks off and get those miles in. The first squirrel shown here was a little on the ornery side … no coming around for him, but that little black squirrel was very sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a squirrel magnet!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think so too sometimes Anne, especially when I am out of the Park where the “regulars” are. The first squirrel had a bit of an attitude, and if I had another 1/2 hour to spare, he might have warmed up a little more as well. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Fred Bailey says:

    Linda:

    Great pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think you were a squirrel in another time Linda! They love you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. libarah says:

    Lovely squirrel😍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindasschaub says:

    Ha ha – that may be true Wayne, especially if I can get their attention (and maybe even admiration and affection) without using peanuts!

    Like

  7. ruthsoaper says:

    Watching the weather forecast so many days ahead is pretty much a waste of time. It seems to change each day. Possible you can trust a forecast 1 or 2 days ahead but that seems to be about it. We just have to make the most of the pleasant weather while we have it. Looks like that’s what you are doing too. 🙂 We noticed that after Wednesday nights full moon and hard freeze many of the trees dropped a lot of leaves. Did you notice this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I agree Ruth and I follow several weather sites and they all predicted this weekend to be beautiful, then quickly changed their tune … the further into the week we got, the worse the weather forecast was. I did notice that too Ruth and Wednesday’s hard freeze was really brutal to most of the annuals in the neighborhood that didn’t bite the dust the first time around. My neighbor’s tree is large and is just turning red – another ten days and it is going to drop leaves, most of them on my lawn. It is hard for me to believe this, but about 20 years ago, a young couple moved in and they had one of those maple seedlings land in some dirt and they put a bottle over it and then staked it at 6 inches tall and covered it over the Winter. My mom and I rolled our eyes thinking it would not survive the first Winter … we needn’t have been so smug as that tree is very large now. It drops its leaves mostly at one time and I’ll get about 15 yard waste bags full of leaves from it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        Maples are very hardy and fast growing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, my neighbor had a pair of Bradford Pear trees which she bought because they were fast growing. They were tall and spindly and both split in two! I miss those trees as all the birds used to sit up in those trees all year long and sing. They’d sit together, close on the branch and sing their hearts out on the coldest days of Winter – what a treat to hear them!

        Like

  8. A little bit of sunshine makes a big difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ari says:

    Wow those are awesome photos, I’ve never seen a black squirrel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ari – Thank you and I heard today it is “National Pumpkin Day” so I should have waited another day to post this story. We have a lot of Fox Squirrels but not as many black squirrels, but they sure are cute, and usually very skittish. This one kind of settled in after a few minutes and enjoyed his treat, so I was lucky enough to get some photos of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    Those black squirrels ARE adorable, aren’t they? We used to have one that lived in the little woods behind our house. I could tell it was always the same one because he had a chunk of his tail missing. Maybe he had a close encounter with some kind of predator. He was a friendly little guy, but I don’t see him anymore. That was years ago. Have you ever heard of someone keeping a pet squirrel?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They sure are adorable Laurie. Sometimes the black squirrels appear skittish, likely because of their smaller size, but this little guy sure was sweet once he realized it was safe to be near me. He relaxed and I got some nice shots of him. There is a Fox Squirrel missing a big chunk of his tail at Council Point Park and I named him Stubby. I have heard of people keeping pet squirrels and there was a story on the news not long ago about a guy who had filed a lawsuit against his condo association who wanted him to get rid of a squirrel he found as a baby and nurtured and kept it as a pet. The guy has PTSD as a result of bad car accident several years ago where he was severely injured, so the squirrel is not just a pet but an emotional support animal as well. The reason that story made the news was due to the fact that one of the airlines removed a woman who brought her emotional support animal (a squirrel) off a flight recently.

      Like

  11. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    A beautiful fall story. The black squirrels are beautiful.I would love one as a pet too. What type is Parker- fox squirrel or just a Park squirrel ?
    I felt like smiling like the doll( scarecrow) in your first picture after I read this post. Where do squirrels hide during extreme winter? Underground ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – Glad you liked this story and I was going to combine it with the Fall colors and mist on the water I did yesterday but I thought the squirrels deserved their own post. The little black squirrels are so much smaller than the Fox squirrels … almost dainty looking and they run faster and bolt faster than the Fox squirrels. They are very cute and I liked this one too. He seemed to be playing peek-a-boo with me for a while.
      Parker is a Fox squirrel as are 99% of the Park squirrels and they call them Fox squirrels since their tail resembles a Fox tail. We have gray squirrels here too, and they look like Fox squirrels only a little smaller. I like scarecrows and am always on the lookout for them once harvest season starts and I was happy to find this one as well as the one I used the other day – both scarecrow girls. They make me grin like them sometimes too, just like you. When it gets really cold, the squirrels will stay tucked in their nest in the trees. They build them high up and unfortunately once the leaves are gone, it exposes the nest. That I worry about in case the hawk swoops down on the nest and tries to hurt them or snatch them in its talons. The groundhog has a burrow underground – he has a tunnel and lives underground. I’ve not seen the groundhog at the Park in at least a month.

      Like

  12. susieshy45 says:

    When we were small, we read books written by Enid Blyton and a lot of her books were about the English countryside, nature, how to keep our environment clean and so on. Reading your posts takes me to that bygone era of childhood innocence, faith in good things, a slower pace of life and nothing much to worry about. Thank you for doing this, Linda.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I started to reply to this Susie and my computer was doing an update and somehow I bounced out of here, and I remembered just now. I know you mentioned this writer from your childhood and I had mentioned James Herriot and his adventures as a country vet in the English countryside years ago and now that I have this author’s name again, I’m going to hang on to it. I do believe I should have lived in a simpler time and place. I do not like how the world is spinning around … between the technology, the dissension, the hatred … it is all running rampant. I just don’t like the way our world is now. It makes me very sad. I think I should have lived back in the pioneer days – life was really simple then. It is much too complicated in this modern age. Heard a little story about technology and people giving instructions to their microwave and their toaster and I realized that I would like to just step off this world … it is spinning way too fast for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        And the Alexa thing – that is unimaginable. I used to think my grandfather when he died in 2010 had had a confusing life to live – with the wars and independence struggles, onslaught of TV and over load of information.
        I think the scourge of our times is information overload- bad things were always happening in the world but the Good Lord kept us from knowing a lot of those things so we were protected. Now, it looks like all filters have been removed, so everyone knows everything and some of that information was better left un-known or un-learnt.
        Linda, I would like to step off this fast paced world too. Thank God for the Sunshines, the Parkers, the little stray cats, the black squirrels and the little creatures of God that remind us that there is a world out there hidden from human eyes, yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’re so right Susie – it is hard to just grin and bear it sometimes … the Alexa thing and after that couple was hacked and their information ended up on a friend’s e-mail or some sort of social media – that would be enough for me. I feel like a dinosaur with no smartphone … thank goodness for the simple things in life like nature to carry us through. I am thankful for those small things to get through my day – no sunshine today, I’ll get my sunshine and smile from those scurrying little pals at the Park before it rains (again) … I’m on Parker watch this morning. I’ll report back later when I settle in here. In the meantime, enjoy your day Susie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I did have a Parker sighting this morning Susie … but it has an additional story which I’m going to write about in a post so stay tuned. I am uploading pictures right now so it will be a while til I post.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    Lol those squirrels are just loving the camera!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Another beautiful post about your time with your furry friends. I love the updates on these beautiful creatures and the special bond you have with them. They are so lucky to have you around to treat them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zena – and you will have more squirrel posts to show your mom. I really did a lot of posts about squirrels this week. Today, I did a really long post, probably my longest, on my first real job, working at a diner. It was the cure for my shyness.

      Like

      • I just read it and really enjoyed it. It was so lovely hearing from where you have come from and what work was like for you when you were so young

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was really young when I graduated from high school on top of it Zena. In Canada they often double-promote on the “repeat grades” and I don’t know if they still do that or not but they considered grade two and grade four repeat grades and we were tested – often the majority of the class just went to the next level/grade. So I had just turned 17 in April and graduated in June. Most of my classmates were already 18. So I was not only shy, but very young – I learned a lot about people and life and came out of the experience a different and better person for sure.

        Like

      • It must have been hard being so shy and young. Sounds like the place helped change you so much. What better place to learn about the differences in people than to be surrounded by them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is very true Zena.

        Like

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