Fur-get about it!

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A long Winter that is.

The word is out and it’s official.  This wintry season is simply not going to hang around as long this year.  Whew!  That sure is a relief, because Winter wore out its welcome in 2018 when the cold, snow and ice were still around in early April.

Now that the Polar Vortex is in the rear view mirror, the sun is getting up earlier and going to bed later, the temps almost feel tropical – what more could we ask for here in Southeast Michigan?

I was overjoyed to hear the world’s most-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, proclaimed Winter would be short and sweet since he didn’t see his shadow – yay Phil!

More importantly, the ultimate weather authority,  a/k/a Woody, is Michigan’s resident woodchuck weather prognosticator, and she made the same prediction this morning at the Howell Nature Center.  Everyone in Michigan knows that Woody has a better track record than Phil … girls rule sometimes – sorry Phil!

It’s been a very long week of weather worries and woes and that was the best news I’ve heard in a long time!  (By the way, the real meteorologists say Winter won’t linger and Spring will arrive earlier too.)

As for the here and now, well I did not make my trek to the Park this morning.  While I am worried about my furry pals down there, and their inability to dig in the frozen ground to find their stash of peanuts, the streets and sidewalks were a little too slick to walk that mile each way and feel comfortable doing so, even in lug-soled hiking boots.  I didn’t want to drive either, as our street was still slick from Monday’s snowstorm, then freezing rain – they couldn’t salt due to the extremely low temps.  For walking and driving purposes, it really wasn’t the snow that was so bad; it was the freezing rain that put a glaze on everything after the snowfall Monday.  I plan to get to the Park tomorrow – the temperature will be warmer mid-day for sure and hopefully the squirrels have not retired to their respective nests for the day.

Meanwhile, Grady is getting as spoiled as Parker.  I dropped a pile of peanuts under the front porch door stoop before I went to run the car and most were split open and shells littered about once I got outside.  Were there two visitors or one?  I know that for the second day in a row, Grady was standing in the snow looking up at the ledge wistfully.  He cannot walk across the brick ledge anymore as there are piles of snow capped with ice.  I tried to brush them off with a broom, but they are frozen solid.  I told my tiny pal that my arms aren’t long enough to stretch to the other side of the house when I lean out the front door to deliver peanuts, so he has to be patient until I get outside.

Thursday morning I took a cup of steaming hot water outside with me to thaw out the pile of peanuts that had frozen solid after the freezing rain glommed them onto the brick ledge.  I pried them off and laid the “peanutsicle” on top of a bush.  But the next morning I discovered Grady chewed them up – ice and all.  I hope he didn’t break his teeth.  So, I tossed that hot water into the air and watched it turn into ice crystals, just like thousands of people did at the height of the Polar Vortex, only they posted a video of them doing that to social media.

Hopefully no one is watching me chatting with Grady who is actually concealed behind the bush, and not seen from the street, as he waits patiently for me to deliver his peanuts to the ledge.  Then he will scramble up the bricks to retrieve and eat them.  Hmm – do the neighbors think I’m talking to myself?  I do that sometimes, but then again … don’t we all?  Perhaps I need to go back to tying the bandana across my mouth and I can chatter away all I want without my credibility being questioned, not that I care.  Ah well … sometimes it’s nice to march to the beat of a different drum as it keeps life from being too staid and boring.

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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53 Responses to Fur-get about it!

  1. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    This was a marvellous post- easy and written with free flow, I think. Otherwise, your posts are very well researched, and perfect but this one had a degree of homeliness. I don’t mean that rudely.
    I love the Grady tales as much as the Parker tales. Keep writing about them, Linda. And glad for you summer is right there and the chipmunks and groundhogs have announced it. How cute that is.
    I am sure all the squirrel friends enjoyed the cold weather and are eagerly waiting for the green leaves that will cover their tree homes and the return of their human friends.
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – I am glad that you liked it … I was late getting here tonight … I wish I could say that was my own picture of a groundhog, but earlier in my blogging days, I did not take my own pictures and relied on purchased stock photos (before discovering Community Commons for free), and this is one of those photos – it certainly fits the title. I am ecstatic that the Winter will be mild – I probably should have put in the post that the weatherman says our Winter WILL be less harsh the balance of the Winter … perhaps I should go back and do that now … don’t want people thinking I believe in the Groundhog’s prediction … that would be akin to believing in Santa Claus. I am in sync with my furry pals awaiting Spring-like temps and green leaves … though our Winter was not so bad in December and early January, this siege of snow, ice and bitter cold has left me longing for Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        I am looking through your blog to see if I missed a new post of yours when I saw this was the last one you posted. I think all the squirrels look thinner in the pictures here. Starvation or an indication of warmer weather to come ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Susie – Funny you mentioned the squirrels looking skinnier – I thought they looked skinnier too. I’m pretty sure they never left their nests during that very bitter cold weather during the Polar Vortex, plus we have had freezing rain three times in the last ten days – can they even go down the trees that are slippery with ice? They can’t access the ground – it is way too cold to dig. My blog post on Sunday showed pools of water at the Park, but that was over the frozen ground where snow had melted and could not saturate the grass as the ground was frozen. Even my porch squirrels did not show up on the worst freezing rain days. I hope the skinny squirrels indicate that Spring is near … we can only hope and you said it is cold where you live too. Climatologists said last year was the warmest on record and more erratic weather is down the pipeline – I hate hearing that. I am a weather worrier. This morning the wind is blowing like crazy … I’ll run out to run the car and run back in the house – hopefully the weather is better for walking and getting to the Park on the weekend. I miss my walking regimen – it is a big part of my day and my life. You are right – I did not post all week. I started to on Wednesday to talk about the ice, but resisted since I never left the house, so I didn’t want to whine too much about it … I was not forced to drive to work or go anywhere. There were many accidents as a result of that ice.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shelley says:

    Love this post – I talk to myself too, and to my pets, and I do think my neighbors wonder about my sanity at times, too. You’re so kind to Grady, he’s one lucky squirrel. I’m glad to hear the female voted for early Spring too! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – I was happy to tout Woody’s efforts – she is always right on the money. I was going to include a photo of her coming out of her burrow (a house that is painted and says “Woody’s house”), but the two newspaper photos were so dark that I didn’t. Grady is lucky and he is kind of a drama queen (for lack of a better word) when I get outside …he looks at me, looks at the ledge, then back at me again, and having had dogs back in the day … well, I know that “I need treats” look.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Doesn’t everyone talk to themselves? We had a guy at the gym to political rants at the TV all the time. He was a little scary overall. He hasn’t been around since the New Year. Maybe he moved. Talking to animals is much saner than that and yay for an early spring.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have talked to myself for years … there used to be an expression when you were caught talking to yourself that you said “well I wanted to hear an intelligent person speak.” We have a guy at the Park and he does that all the time … at first I thought he had a Bluetooth and was on the phone …but that was/is not the case. Hmm. Grady is like a dog or cat – a little bit of drama to ensure I see that a treat is needed … maybe even pronto. I’m overjoyed about an early Spring … we had 50 today. I just loaded up all my pictures. The walking was a little dicey at the Park, but 50 degrees after what we had last week?!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Late this afternoon a family of foxes came through my yard and caught one of my squirrels for dinner. It’s the circle of life but I was still sad. I watch them scrounge for seeds all the time. It’s like they are part of the family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh, that would have made me sad too Kate. When I e-mailed my two neighbors about the two big hawks since they each have small dogs, one didn’t respond back and the other (a guy) said “we watched a hawk take out a squirrel in our yard – cool” … hmmm. I hope I never see that sight. I “get” the circle of life too, but like you, I am a bleeding heart when it comes to animals, especially the regular critters that worm their way into our hearts.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    I am not one for groundhog day just because I feel it is unnecessary to wake them up from hibernation just to fulfill a tradition. I know they wake Pux Phil from his slumber on purpose but I’m not sure about how they do it at the nature center where you are. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am a big animal rights activist…not radical by any means (I don’t agree with most of PETA’s tactics) but I am def not afraid to speak up when I disagree with something in regards to the way people treat animals. I am glad you made it through the polar vortex. I can’t imagine how rough that was for a lot of people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Sarah – Woody lives at the Howell Nature Center – it is not near me, but I’d like to visit there someday. It is woodsy and there are nature trails and it is a place where small wild animals are sent to be rehabbed. Woody has her own little house and I was going to include the pictures from a few newspapers but they were all kind of dark. And including the news article does not work for some of my UK followers as they cannot gain access to it. So I left it out. I’ll include it for you here – they wait to see if she runs out of her house and that makes the determination. I’m all for animal welfare rights too. Here in SE Michigan we had a horrible story last week about a pit bull mix who was adopted from a shelter and then tortured and left in a park. I know pits get a bad rap and as an avid walker, I am scared to death I’ll come face to face with one on the loose, but this just was horrible. We have alot of instances of animal cruelty to domestic pets … it breaks my heart for any person to be mean-spirited to animals. Here’s our Woody’s story from yesterday: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/02/02/groundhog-day-spring-michigan/2753659002/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ruthsoaper says:

    I love people who march to a beat of a different drum.♥

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Laurie says:

    I love the idea of Grady getting a “peanutsicle”! You really do spoil your furry friends.

    Our local groundhog, Octorara Orphie, predicted the same as Phil. I am wishing they are all correct. I am ready for an early spring. This week is supposed to be spring-like here, with temperatures in the 50s. I hope it gets rid of all the snow and ice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I would have liked to see him eating it Laurie. The temps were 50 degrees today – just gorgeous, but I had to walk in the street and not on the sidewalks and at the Park it was a little dicey. I have uploaded my pictures and need to write a post to go with them. It was great to be out and walking at my favorite venue. I think a good part of the snow melted – unfortunately we are getting a wintry precip Tuesday into Wednesday. I love the name of your local groundhog. With three of them making the prediction, I believe it will happen. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful weather news for you and the squirrels! Now it’s supposed to be our turn here in Portland! We have snowflakes on the weather app for 5 days this week!! It will be interesting to see if it really happens. Peanutsicle! I love it! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Sorry to hear about your potential snow after you’ve had such beautiful weather and I hope it does not wipe out the flowers. We had that oddball weather in late Winter about five years ago – very warm, the trees budded, flowers bloomed, then a cold snap. Many of Michigan’s apple and cherry crop suffered that year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you don’t lose any plants or flowers. We were 70 degrees warmer today than on Wednesday and Thursday – it was 50 and I got out for walk … felt heavenly after that cold snap and the path was icey so I had to pick my way around, but it was worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I wouldn’t worry about people thinking you are talking to yourself too much. I would much rather be around people like you than those who don’t connect and respect all animals as much as you do 😉 What a sight that must have been to watch the water freeze due to the polar vortex .

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – and that’s why I added I didn’t care. I talk to all of them, at the Park or on the porch, they listen and I believe, with the exception of the very young squirrels at the Park, they realize I am not a threat to them and it safe to come over to the tall human (I am 5′ 9″ tall). The water is interesting to watch – it just disintegrates into thin air.

      Like

  9. Eliza says:

    Watching water in the air freeze is super cool… I mean it!
    I always talk to myself. Though if you’re talking to fur babies, it’s definitely not to yourself…
    Love and light.
    Happy Sunday! Hope this week brings lotsa good things your way

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I liked those videos too and there some really cool videos showing bubbles in the cold air too – I’d like to try that someday. I’ve been talking to myself for years … good for keeping organized sometimes or for inspiration. Whatever works – go for it and you’re right the fur babies are there, they listen and if no one sees them, well tough! 🙂 I hope your week is good as well and full of pleasant thoughts and weather because having a little sun right now is so important as we get through gloomy February. We had a sunny day – it is good for the soul.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. we are getting snow at the moment which is unusual. My hummingbird is staying under cover looking confused as to what this white stuff is! So Tofino doesn’t have a Groundhog but my Hummer says “NO WAY”!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sharonchyy says:

    Wow lovely photo, you have so much respect for animals,Great post.Have a wonderful new week💕

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Oh heavens, we all talk to ourselves! Just so the neighbors don’t start calling you squirrely…hahahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………..I’ve never seen nor thought of doing the hot water into the zero weather and watching it turn to ice crystals………………..kind of cool idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I will find a video to send to you Ann Marie – you have to see it disintegrate in thin air. Last week during the Polar Vortex, some people did some fun and cool stuff using soap bubbles. They got these big bubbles and they blew the bubble through the bubble wand and then rested the bubble on a table where it promptly froze and Jack Frost made little etchings on the bubble. Stunning!

      Like

  14. If I saw you talking to no one, I would presume you had a connection to a cell phone that I couldn’t see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s true because a Bluetooth device on your ear was so obvious, but not anymore, and some people wear a wire as well. I was glad when Robb got wireless in his car as he used to call me on the way home from work on the Bluetooth and it was always fuzzy and I missed half of what he said. They went to hands-free cellphone use in the City of Detroit about five years ago – big fine for using a phone and driving.

      Like

      • Laws don’t seem to keep people from holding a cell phone in the car. I’m frightened by the number of people I’ve seen texting as they hurtle down the highway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh me too Anne! I see it when I am walking and I have to be careful no one pulls out of their driveway while walking to the Park. I heard a representative from the State Police say that many people are watching moves on their phones and he bemoaned the fact that the screens in vehicles are going to be bigger than ever, thus more distraction. I don’t have the screen in my car – my car will be 10 years old this September with a whopping 5,700 miles on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Mackenzie says:

    Hi, Linda! Don’t worry I didn’t fur-get about you ! School’s just kicking my butt this week- but I’m glad to pop in and hear about all of Grady’s adventures & I laughed pretty hard at your description of talking to the bushes-ahem- I mean Grady 😉 Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Mackenzie – You lucked out since I have not posted since Sunday, so you’ll likely stay caught up with me for now as you trudge through your schoolwork … are you doing midterms by now? I figure your school will be closed for President’s Day … maybe you and DJ can plan a mini escape or will you still be bogged down at schoo? How are DJ’s applications for grad school going – are they done and he’s just waiting to hear? I am glad I gave you a smile – my mouth is moving while talking to my furry pals and people must wonder … oh well, I give up my credibility but give a couple of furry fellows joy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        Oh yay! I’m glad to be caught up then 🙂 Woohoo! We actually don’t have midterms for the courses I’m taking this semester, just a lot of papers / projects due coming up! DJ and I have some plans this weekend we’re really excited for . We are going to SF & trying a new restaurant out! DJ has heard back from schools & made his decision! I am going to announce in a post soon but DJ got into UT Austin so we are going to be moving to Austin this summer!

        You definitely bring them joy! no doubt about it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Unfortunately I’ve made you behind again Mackenzie – no worries, you’ll catch up when you can. You have good reasons to be behind. The San Fran trip for dinner sounds nice – anything warm and scenic sounds good right now. Have some genuine sour dough bread for me please. Our weather is fractious indeed. I’m happy to see DJ made a decision – you’ll stay in the warm weather and closer to your mom and Pete than you are now. I’m excited to hear about your new adventure. I won’t say more, but await your post – do try to screen your neighbors before choosing an apartment! 😉

        Like

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