OOPS!!

OOPS1

This post is a compilation of a few funny incidents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I was lucky enough to be at the right place, at the right time, to take pictures of a little mischief by our furry friends … and, then I had an “oops” myself, as you’ll read later on.

Grady the gray squirrel from the ‘hood.

Well, what do you know – I was able to grab a few shots of the elusive Grady.  I went to the front door to see if it was light out yet, and there was Grady, timid soul that he is, waiting on the porch for his morning treat.  He didn’t even scamper away when I opened up the inside door and peered out the glass.  I put my finger up, (as if he understood “wait a minute”), and then I scurried down the hall to grab my camera.  I was bound and determined I would get some pictures of this little guy who shows up, grabs his peanuts to go and never leaves any shells.  I tossed out about eight peanuts and he zoomed right over to grab one and headed off to the city property where he promptly dug a hole and buried that peanut.

grady digging

Then he came back for another one, stealthily up the steps, looking up at me once, but he figured I wasn’t going to harm him, so he grabbed another peanut before disappearing down the steps again.

grady going down the stairs

This time he ran next door and next thing I knew, his front paws were digging furiously over there.  Well, it’s his call whether to eat ‘em or bury ‘em I guess.  He’s rather apprehensive, but he sure is cute.

grady in the front yard

I took a lot of pictures through the glass in the screen door and luckily it was a gray day so there was no reflection.  It appears that Grady has got this “grab-and-go” routine down to an art.  When the last peanut was gone, so was he.

grady eating

grady eating1

An update on the Council Point Park feast.

Meanwhile, on the picnic table down at Council Point Park, it is slim pickin’s since I laid out all their loot and goodies ten days ago.  Seeds are strewn everywhere – the picnic tables and concrete floor are covered.

At first, the procession to dine was orderly … a nibble here, a nibble there.  Then the squirrels began to wreak havoc with the set-up … the seed bells were knocked over on their sides, the Liberty Bell ended up on the floor, yielding a treasure trove of mixed seeds everywhere as it bounced onto the hard floor.  When I arrived Christmas Eve morning, one of the chunks of seed bars was on the floor – the other chunk was missing.  The two sunflower seed bells were half depleted and swimming in a sea of black oiler seed shells. All that is left in the foil pan now is spent sunflower seeds and all the white safflower seeds.  This is because the squirrels gorged themselves on what they liked the most.

So I moseyed along … after all there were other hungry squirrels to feed who likely hadn’t monopolized the seed treats.

On Christmas morning I arrived and saw squirrel activity on the top of the table, so I meandered over to investigate.

Aim high or go home.

It is the Christmas season and isn’t this the time for sharing the love, and the gifts?

I saw an enterprising squirrel take off with the seed bar … first he knocked it on the cement floor of the pavilion  where he lost a few chunks off it, but grabbed it and ran like the wind.  Off he went lugging this seed bar, which was admittedly a bit cumbersome, but I could imagine him thinking “no worries … I’ll just grab it in my front teeth and haul it up the tree” … well that was an idea that might have worked on paper, but he needed either a helper or to break the bar into smaller pieces.  He struggled to figure out how to get it to the top.  He put it at the other side of the tree so no passersby might take it and off he went, presumably to grab a friend.  Hope he was ready to spring for pizza and pop for any helpers for this big move.

Well, maybe I misinterpreted the holiday a bit, because next was a squirrel running off with the smaller, mostly dilapidated seed bell as fast as his four legs could carry him.  Curious, I followed to see where he was going with it.  He stopped at the first tree – was this his tree where his nest is located?  I glanced up and saw no nest up there, but up he went, clutching the seed bell between his front teeth as he scrambled up the trunk, and ran along a lower branch.  I kept watching him, but this time with the camera in hand.  He saw me watching him and began climbing higher and higher, and he glared at me at each level he reached, as if it was my fault he had to go through these machinations.  You’d think I was going to force him to spit it out for goodness sake!  I finally gave up pursuing him with the camera, just about the time he dropped it into the water.  I saw the little splash and his face registered disappointment.  Well, I kind of saw that coming since the branches of the tree jutted over the Creek embankment.  I felt badly for him – he looked at me again and I didn’t know if that meant it was my fault or maybe I’d like to go retrieve that treat for him?  All dejected, that squirrel came down the tree head first and peered into the water clearly intent on getting it back.  All he saw was his reflection,  so he finally gave up, had a drink of water and headed back up his tree.

I walked six miles on Christmas Day and since I drove to the Park, this amounted to three complete trips around the entire Park.  So, on my third time around, here we go again, another squirrel running for its life lugging the remaining black sunflower seed bell, and, when he stopped and looked at me, I have to admit he was wearing a really guilty look.  I looked at him and said “did I say anything?”  Now, my mom would say that you had a guilty conscience and knew you had done something wrong or you wouldn’t have that guilty look on your face.  This treat was way too big to handle and obviously he hadn’t a clue what to do with it except to round up the family to finish it on the spot.

I know this squirrel was watching the others pilfer the treats as he had an OMG look on his face.

omg - what happened here

Then he turned to me as if to say “Linda, do something!”

linda - do something

I’ve included a slideshow of the shenanigans of the three enterprising furry fellows:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Aim high but pay attention.

The entire time my feet are traveling along the perimeter path, my eyes are roving – up, down, left right.  It’s important to look down as I don’t want to end up going home with goose poop wedged between the ridges of my walking shoes, but at the same time I don’t want to miss nice shots overhead.  I was looking at some seagulls cruising precariously close to my head, hoping that there would be no white splats on my hat when I got home, when I heard a squirrel chattering from high above … he looked at me with a look of disdain for some reason – “what did I do to you I called out to him?”  He ran away, so I guess he not be one of the regulars, like here, where you get the pleading eyes and nuzzling up to the shoe to get your attention.

pleading

shoe 1

shoe 2

A sudden movement and the rustling of a branch got my attention and I looked up in the air again and there was a heron balanced precariously on a branch … I wondered how in the world I could have missed that heron – was he there a moment before?

heron1

Do I need stronger glasses?  I still had the camera in my hand so I focused on that heron and snapped his picture.  I dared to zoom in on him figuring any moment he’d catch sight of me and take off screaming like a banshee.  No, he didn’t see me … in fact he raised one foot … must have had sore feet, and stood there stork like, then planted both feet firmly on the branch gazing onto space,  Usually I see herons embedded amongst the dead and weather-beaten trees across the Creek, so the heron, with its pale plumage, blends right in.  But this was odd to see a heron up so high on a live tree.

heron2

After a dozen or so shots, I looked down and there were a couple more squirrels nuzzling my shoes.  OK, I sweet-talked and fed them, then back to walking … walking was definitively taking a hit if I continued with these photo ops.  I whirled around to get back on the trail and my gaze met the headlights and grille of Lincoln Park’s finest.

Well that was an OMG moment for sure … I would have liked to see the look on my face, which I’m sure the office captured on his dash cam, when I saw that vehicle.  That black SUV filled the entire walking path and I never heard it as I was so intent on getting that heron’s picture, and, for all I know, it might have been there when I was fiddling with the squirrel up in the tree as well.  If the LPPD has a blooper roll, I’m sure my wide-eyed look would make it there.

Well, I felt an apology, or at least a chuckle, was in order and I walked toward the driver side, and noted, as I approached, that the officer had already rolled down the window and was smiling.  I said “I’m sorry … I guess you know I never saw you!”  He say “yup, I knew that – did you get your shot?  I saw that heron fly away?”  I said “he’s really skittish if he is the same heron I see all the time … he bolts when he sees me.”  He laughed at that and I figured since I had the opportunity, I’d ask if there were any more coyote sightings.  He said “no” and I said that was good as there had been one on my street as well.  Well, I stepped aside so he could be on his way – the police often drive on the perimeter path to check out the Park for any suspicious activity … so, going forward when I aim high, I’ll take a look all around me first!

police

police1

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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65 Responses to OOPS!!

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Ms: “Oops”……………………………..the squirrel looking straight up at you made me laugh………….great one of the Heron up in the tree……………………..I’ve never seen one up in a tree before………………………….maybe because we don’t have any trees by our pond……………………fancy meeting a police car on Christmas day!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh Ann Marie – some of the looks that those squirrels give me sometimes – I had to share that as well as the “begging look” … they do make me smile. Was Grady hanging around the porch when you dropped off treats two days in a row? You would have seen him for sure. I’ve seen the heron across the Creek on the other side when you are standing on the cement landing, but never in a live tree and that high up and yes, when I turned around and saw the policeman. He was smiling though so he was fine with waiting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It was fun to read of your outdoor activities on Christmas Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – glad you liked it and hope it gave you a smile. I wish you could have seen the look on my face when I turned around to start walking and saw the police car … and the look on those squirrels’ faces sometimes. They really make me smile. I’ve spent a lot of time down there the last week or so … even though the weather has been good (except for one rainy day) I had visited all the other parks two weeks before and haven’t used those picture nor done the narrative for them, so I stuck close to home.

      Like

  3. This was definitely worth the read. Your text put everything into perspective and the photos are priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. you need to start putting captions above their heads Linda. They look like they want to talk to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I really should have done captions instead, like a cartoon Wayne. I always feel lucky when I am able to capture some of their expressions. They look at me like a little kid would when caught doing something they are not supposed to be doing … “the guilty look” . I need to work on Grady … a little assertiveness training or perhaps I’ll take him with me to Council Point Park where he will witness shameless begging. He is very polite and timid. (Should have named him “Timid Tim” instead.)

      Like

      • Tiny Tim! Squirrels demand one name.Grady is a good name.I assume there is no apparent way you can tell the sex?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I was kidding – he is very timid and no, I can’t tell … I was amazed he got that close to me with the door closed and me looming nearby and looking out. We don’t have many gray squirrels around here and I got a good look at him. I was surprised to see how furry he was and skinny like the black squirrels. The other day, before I went out, I gave him some cashews with his shell peanuts from the front door. Went outside on my walk 15 minutes later, a bunch of little birds flew up in the air. The peanuts were gone, cashews still there. Pulled the car out of the garage and warming it up, a group of chickadees settled down to eat the cashews – Grady was watching them from a tree. The squirrels at the Park are bolder and braver – they are used to humans. I will need to work on him. His peanuts were still on the porch when I came home – I have to check before it gets dark if he got them.

        Like

      • Grady reminds me of me.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, he is very timid Wayne, but I am used to seeing the squirrels in the Park who make their feelings known when they want a treat … that’s okay, they’re around humans all the time and I am not the only one who fawns over them. And, BTW – I went to the Park this morning and the City guys who empty the trash cans took the foil feeding dishes and there was safflower seeds in them and probably some good oilers amongst the spent sunflower seeds. That’s too bad, but they did clean up under the picnic table … there was a mess of seeds under there. So, back to Grady, this little guy … first letting the chickadees eat the cashews I left with his shell peanuts, then watching them. Then yesterday that fox squirrel chased him and took the rest of his peanuts. So I gave him some more and went to the tree where the other squirrel chased him – I felt bad for him … now I associated him with me as I was bullied as a kid when we moved here. He was making a crying and scared noise and shaking a little. So I looked to see if gray squirrels are naturally timid … I’ll put what I found at the bottom of this paragraph. So today, he didn’t show up at all after I put peanuts out before I left, came home from walking, peanuts still there. Looked out about 4:00 p.m. … peanuts still there. All of them. We do have a rainy day now, but this morning it was not raining. So, now I’ll worry about him. I’ll worry that the bigger squirrel chased him away for good. I measured the porch and it is 18 inches from the ground, top step 15 inches and bottom step 12 inches … the two tables I have in mind are too tall. I will have to come up with another plan to feed him … if he returns. However, I have a few days … we are getting snow on New Year’s Eve evening … bad timing for the party goers. So this is what I found on the “All About Squirrels” website about gray squirrels being timid and I had established a rapport with him, which may be broken now.

        Unlike a lot of other squirrels, the grey squirrel does not hibernate during the winter months. They are also very active in the day time and enjoy scurrying about and foraging for food. On that note, they tend to be very shy little creatures. However, when they are fed, their inherent feelings of bashfulness tend to disappear.

        Like

      • your a natural when It comes to animals Linda.I can see you being attentive to my bear friends.They are all very shy creatures.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I could see being attentive to your bear friends too Wayne, and I always take the side of the underdog. You had a picture of a bear one time who was abandoned by its mate for another bear where the bears all gathered … you said you witnessed it and felt for that bear. I did the same thing with this little guy. I felt better after reading that they have a timid nature, but I see him going hungry now because a bigger squirrel came along and terrorized him … so it was surprising to me the fox squirrel did not come back today looking for food. On the other hand, I yelled at that fox squirrel and told him to go away (like he understood … but he sure understood my sharp tone, as he took off). It will continue to rain til late afternoon so Grady may not be venturing out. He did hide those other peanuts. And I’ve not seen Parker in a couple days … it is as bad as having pets and worrying about them.

        Like

      • that kind of behavoir I would classify as “bulling”.Proving that bulling is a very normal & natural state in nature.We as humans believe it to be something that can be gotten rid of.Bulling begins in the cradle & ends in the grave.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Apparently it is not exclusive and happens to man and beast.

        Like

      • Juliette bullies Romeo all the time

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s right, I remember you saying that. Not just because she is bigger than him – you said she wants to perch where she wants to go and doesn’t she make him feel unwelcome if he goes there?

        Like

      • I cannot speak for Romeo of course.Eagles do not have emotions like us & so do not feel the same way I suspect?

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s true – Romeo likely feels intimidated by her presence sometimes because she is a bigger bird, so he just defers to her.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurie says:

    Great squirrel and heron pictures. I can’t get over the little guy’s pleading eyes as he sits at your feet and looks up at you! How can you resist that? So glad to read that you didn’t get in trouble with the police for impeding their progress! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Laurie – this little squirrel is there at the porch, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, every morning now. I was happy to actually get some pictures of him up close. You’re right – how can you resist when those little squirrels look up at you for a treat? Good thing the police officer had a sense of humor … I have no idea how long he sat there, his vehicle was extremely quiet but he was content to wait for me to finish fiddling around. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        I delivered Meals on Wheels yesterday. When I was walking up to one house I saw peanut shells scattered all over the walk and thought of you. I bet the woman who lives there was feeding the squirrels too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Ha ha – those squirrels get a treat one time from a kindly soul and they’ll be back like clockwork. Poor Grady the little gray squirrel has competition. A bigger Fox squirrel (like Parker and his gang) has discovered our routine and chases Grady away so he is left watching the bigger squirrel eating his peanuts. He is kind of a bully.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        I am sure you will find a way to get treats to your pal Grady! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes Laurie – it happened again this morning … I guess I’ll have to fight his battles for him.
        He is very shy and usually watches from afar now, so I’ll need to go after him (instead of the other way around). 🙂

        Like

  6. kutukamus says:

    The little guy might take the shoe as one big unusual peanut.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ruthsoaper says:

    I am amazed at how those squirrels come right up to your feet. They obviously have learned that they can trust you. Your heron friend gave you a great Christmas gift 🙂
    I wouldn’t worry too much about your encounter with the LPPD – this time – but if it happens too often you should probably start carrying doughnuts in your pockets as well. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ruth – I tell you, sometimes I’ll walk in the Park and they come right up, like Parker, but the other squirrels are starting to do this too, and they do jump onto my toe of my shoe or try to climb on my shoe – I think they aren’t afraid and they also want to make sure they grab my attention! That was so funny with the officer – I didn’t see him and I made sure I took a few photos of the police vehicle to emphasize how large it was … not just a sedan, but an SUV. Never heard him, nor saw him in my peripheral vision – yup, if I’m going to be gazing around, better carry donuts with me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Its great that the Police patrol that Park Linda.Must be reassuring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, I have seen them before when I go on weekends, not so much on weekdays, but they may come later in the days. In the Summer, the foliage on the bushes and trees, and the reeds, makes it more dense around the water, so it is good they patrol.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. susieshy45 says:

    I love your police car blooper- it happens to me too. More than surprise, it is a shock sometimes for me when I realise someone has been observing me without my knowledge. The squirrels nuzzling your shoes are the cutest ones and their begging looks are to die for. I would treat the squirrels exactly as you do, if I had squirrels to feed too.
    I loved your explanations of the squirrels dragging the seed bells to their lair. I was sad to read of the squirrel losing the seed bell to the water.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie I was so caught up taking that picture … it must have been an awfully quiet vehicle to be that close … it was not parked far from me. Here I was taking my time and he was patiently waiting. Made me smile. He was very nice about it so that made it more fun. I knew you would get a kick out of those pictures … that pleading look like “please feed me” and I made sure I got you some “nuzzling the shoe” pictures since you asked me about them recently. That was not Parker … the other squirrels watch him and think “hmmm, she is extra nice to that squirrel, so maybe I will climb on her shoe because she likes that!” They seem like pets. Those squirrels were funny to watch dragging those seed bells away so the other squirrels couldn’t get them and that squirrel dragged his bell to the very top of the tree, only to have it fall down – like you, I share his pain of losing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lucky you Linda! Great shots of the heron! When I lived in California there were a couple of heron and egret rookeries nearby. They nest in large groups and seem to love eucalyptus trees. It was always noisy around those rookeries and one sure had to avoid walking or parking a vehicle below. Great squirrel shots too! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – I’ve never seen a heron that high up in a live tree before. They are usually tucked away inside the more weathered/dead trees. (Like this:
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/#jp-carousel-8900)
      So, this was a treat to be underneath him and so close. Glad you like my squirrel shots – their faces and antics are so amusing sometimes, especially the “pleading faces” – make me smile every time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was your lucky day! Whenever the squirrels scamper around my garden now I think of you. One pressed his nose up against the patio door the other day and I was able to grab my phone and catch that moment. Your enthusiasm for them is fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It sure was – they were everywhere. I was disappointed the City guys came to the pavilion area and picked up the trash and took away the bird seed – there were safflower seeds still there for the cardinals (if they could find them). The squirrels have their antics and faces which just endear you to them. I can picture him peering in your patio door – probably looking for a human to come and give him a treat. My next-door neighbor fed the birds and squirrels on her back deck and she just walked out the door wall from her kitchen. She did it maybe two times for the squirrels and the squirrel was back there every morning looking in and running back and forth to get her attention. She fed him everything and anything she had — he always liked Christmas cookies … she’d leave them on the top railing of the deck (same place she had the heated birdbath we wrote about) and the squirrel didn’t discriminate if it was not peanuts. He ate every last crumb!

        Liked by 1 person

      • They are quite smart! But they won’t get treats at my door because a whole squirrel squad will show up! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s right … like the old commercial “they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends” and so on. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hahahaha what an amazing day you had!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shelley says:

    Oh, my, goodness, you get great shots of the park animals (including the police ;-))! Those squirrels are so fat!!! WOW! That sure seemed like a fun day at the park. Thanks for sharing your tales of the tails you saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    Oh Grady from the hood- what a little cutie! Oh my goodness- I am laughing through this whole post!!! He really does have a “Linda do something!” look. I bet you are relieved to hear there have not been any more coyote sightings too. Always love reading your nature filled encounters. And that photo of the heron still turned out so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Isn’t he sweet but he is so timid. A bigger squirrel is taking his treats and I want to be a “helicopter mom” (or maybe “sister”) and come to his rescue. That was a funny encounter with the police officer … I was soaking up my experience with the heron above me and never heard or saw him, but he knew that – I think I gave him a laugh as well. 🙂

      Like

  14. Wow more amazing pictures…..and that heron….priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Joan – glad you liked them. I’ve never seen a heron sitting in a live tree and right above me – I was fascinated. Good thing the police officer had a sense of humor!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do the police feel they need to patrol the park….is there a lot of crime there…..or is it just part of their beat?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We do have a lot of crime in our City Joan – I read the crime reports on Facebook every day to see what is happening. The police do routinely patrol Council Point Park … it is not as wide open as most of the parks in our city since it has wooded areas along the water.

        Like

      • It looks like a lovely park, but even lovely parks have problems these days…..esp. if they’re aren’t too many people around walking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree Joan – I try not to go when there is no one there in the Summer – in the Winter, it is different because there are no leaves on the trees and bushes, so you can essentially see right through them (and whether people are lurking about), but I like to be prudent – you cannot be too careful in these times.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh dear. Hope you didn’t have hurt. Bless you. Shows your dedication to the non humans in your life. What a lovely way to spend Christmas with nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – it was a nice long stroll on Christmas Day – it was so funny when I turned around and saw him. Good thing the officer was in a good mood and got a laugh out of it!

      Like

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