Pretty please, could I have some peanuts?

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Ahhh … there’s nothing like the smell of fresh peanuts.  Whether it hearkens back to the vendor hawking packets of fresh-roasted peanuts at the circus, or a baseball game [“peanuts, peanuts … get your fresh-roasted peanuts”], or simply ripping the seal off the jar of Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, to many it is an aroma that rivals the finest chocolate.

I finally got to the grocery store yesterday with the threat of another wintry precip morning looming, so I decided I’d better high tail it out and get some peanuts for my Park and porch pals.  I didn’t want to resort to rationing the porch pals’ peanuts again and I really didn’t want to end up serving tortilla roll-ups stuffed with peanut butter to Parker and his friends.  After all, I think I owe my allegiance to Parker and his pals, as they’ve not had the benefit of “droppings” every morning to tide them over until their paws and claws can begin digging up those buried nuts.  We’ve had incredibly frigid weather the last three days with subzero overnight temps.

When I got to Meijer, I went to the usual spot where they have the bagged peanuts.  A new display was there for dried fruit snacks.  Panicked, I looked around for where they might be.  Meijer does not have loose nuts of any kind in their store, so if they quit selling the Hampton Farms peanuts I’d be up a creek.  It turned out they merely moved them – whew!  I got eight bags and that ought to keep everyone happy for a while.

I gave my “porch pets” extra peanuts this morning, shortly after sunrise.  Those squirrels and birds give me a smile with their antics.  Lately, just like clockwork, they arrive, two by two, as if they are lining up to get on Noah’s Ark.  If I don’t make a dropping of peanuts early enough for their liking, when I open the door, one of the two blue jays greets me with a big screech that sounds like “slacker, where’s my breakfast?”  The pair of cardinals, male and female, think they are concealed in the barberry bush.  The female blends into the twigs, so I can’t see her well unless she hops from branch to branch, but the male’s beautiful red plumage makes him stand out, especially on these gray days.  The squirrels … well, they live across the street and when I open the door, I see immediate movement in the trees.  I picture two heads bobbing out of their respective nests and saying “Linda’s put our peanuts out!”  Soon Grady and his pal are scurrying across the street to my house.

These days I see less nutshells on the porch and with our recent sub-zero temps, I know that the squirrels aren’t hiding those  nuts in a hole.  The birds are really no savvier than the squirrels, BUT, they abide by the proverb “the early bird catches the worm” … all that swooping and swiping that goes on tells me the squirrels better set their alarm clocks earlier.

“The Peanut Lady” goes to Elizabeth Park.

The squirrel featured in today’s post is not Parker and his pals, nor Grady’s pal, but one who lives at Elizabeth Park.  When I made my foray to four parks last Sunday, I decided to keep that post squirrel-free since the bird was the word that day.  [You know it was killing me to leave this furry fellow out of that post.]

I parked the car and crossed the vehicle bridge and this squirrel started chattering at me as I passed “his” tree.

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I glanced up at him and we had a quick stare down, followed by a Pavlov’s dog-like movement on my part, wherein I patted my pocket to feel if I had enough peanuts in the Ziploc bag to offer him, while simultaneously unzipping the camera pouch to get ready to take his picture.

I stood next to his tree, grateful the incessant flurrying that had plagued me on my earlier jaunt to Lake Erie Metropark, had finally stopped, so perhaps I could get a few photos of him.  I wiggled the bag, even took out a few peanuts and held them between my fingers to lure him down.  It worked.

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I watched his slow descent and then, as he got closer to me, he ran back up the tree.  Really?!  What did I do?  My moniker at Council Point Park is “The Peanut Lady” and I am usually a squirrel magnet, so I was a little puzzled by his reluctance to come closer.  I said to no one in particular “well suit yourself Bud” and proceeded on my trek down to the channel.

Well, I guess he did not like my dismissive attitude.  I felt a presence behind me while taking pictures of the ducks and geese that lined the channel and noticed him begging at my heels.  I turned around – so, who could walk away from those sad eyes and begging stance that you see pictured at the top of this post?  Not me.  I told him he was lucky 1) that I don’t carry a grudge, and 2) that I always carry a Ziploc bag of peanuts in my pocket, whether I’m walking or just outside, and this time he should stick around because it was worth his while to do so.

I poured out some peanuts and, as I fed him, he was happy to oblige me for a few pictures.

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While I was taking pictures, a gentleman came along and remarked “there are more panhandlers in this park then there are in San Francisco” and I replied that it is such a large park that I’ve never been “hit on” before.   [I didn’t know about the panhandler situation in San Francisco; I was last there in 1980, so I didn’t remark on that comment.]  What I did say was that my reputation of being “The Peanut Lady” at Council Point Park was true.

After we chatted awhile, he moseyed on, bidding me to have a good day, and I left my furry friend who was happily noshing peanuts on the snowy grass.

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I walked down near the big bridge, which you’ll recall was a tad icy/snowy so I stopped in my tracks and retraced my steps.  On the way back, my little pal was gone and only peanut shells remained from our visit.  I walked up the hill and at the very same location, if he didn’t begin chattering at me again.

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Quick as a whip, he was down the tree and we were having another face-to-face encounter.  It began to snow so I didn’t want to linger, but emptied the bag onto the cement and pointed to the meager offerings and left.

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As I drove out of Elizabeth Park about fifteen minutes later, the peanuts were still there.  Perhaps he could not believe his good fortune of being in the right place at the right time earlier and his Mama reared him right – he shares with others.

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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38 Responses to Pretty please, could I have some peanuts?

  1. Rebecca says:

    Awww … he’s a cutie! I like his coloring and big bushy tail!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Isn’t he? The pleading looks they give you – they sure know how to work a crowd, that’s for sure. I hope to get to my park soon – we’ve had such brutal temperatures and today a wintry precip which was not good for walking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        Yes, I think their eyes speak for them. Our weather this weekend calls for straight-line winds and possible tornadoes. I’m not sure I’m going to like spring weather much better than winter.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Good luck with the tornadic conditions Rebecca. My heart goes out to those poor people in Alabama. I heard one man say that he had just rebuilt his home, having lost it in a fire, and it was now flattened. We have a windy day for Sunday too, gusts 40-50 mph, and this time, unlike the Cyclone Bomb two weeks ago, the winds are preceded by a torrential rain of long duration. Hopefully the ground is cold enough, that the tree roots will not be moving around, but who knows with all the rain making the ground soggy? Our tornado season begins in April and I am already dreading it. We had three incidents last year within five miles and ten miles respectively, and that’s too close for comfort. I believe there are no safe places in our nation right now that we can be totally free from Mother’s Nature’s wrath. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. He is a cutie! You’ll need to give him a name in case you see him again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re right Joan – “Bud” wasn’t a cute enough name for him – he deserves a cuter name than that … maybe “Bashful”?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t realize you’d called him Bud…..agree too generic…..any squirrel could be Bud. Bashful Benny? You name him if you see him again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was just saying that as people used to call people “Bud” – remember that? You’d call a stranger “Bud” in casual conversation – maybe I can remember my father saying it. Now you call someone “dude”. I like “Bashful Benny” and I looked through my blog last night as I am pretty sure it was the same squirrel I had an encounter with last Summer or the Summer before. That is why I said it is “his” tree. I was in the exact same spot and I looked all over for this post and couldn’t find it and then I just searched another time under “Elizabeth Park” and found it – if you scroll down a little, you’ll see this squirrel and I’m positive it was the same squirrel … he eyed me at the same place. Guess he is the guardian of the gates (or likes to think he is): https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/07/15/seasons-eatings/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG I swear you could write a book. I so look forward to reading your posts! You were so lucky to find the peanuts. How long does it take you to go through a bag?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Diane – I’ve missed the interactions with the squirrels and I am headed to the Park to see Parker and his pals as soon as I suit up. In the Summertime, I usually get about five Ziploc bags of peanuts in a 20-ounce bag of the Hampton Farms peanuts, but in the Winter I try to give them more since they can’t dig in the ground so maybe three Ziploc bags only, plus I leave extra on the picnic table for the ones I missed… this is the first year I had “porch pals” – they alone are eating me out of house and home!! 🙂

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      • You should send a message to Hampton Farms and see if you can get free peanuts for posting their name on your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s a good idea, in fact I think I’ve mentioned their name before. I don’t know why they don’t sell loose nuts of any kind – even walnuts, so I have to buy cellophane bags of peanuts. I fed Parker M&Ms once and took some pictures and did a post and sent it to M&Ms Facebook – they said “thanks for sending this” … I’ll try doing that Diane, thanks for the suggestion.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. susieshy45 says:

    Oh, Linda. Look at that cutie. Is it a male or a female? Are any of your squirrel friends girls?
    What is a panhandler ? Is that a friendly comment ? Anyway glad your interaction was friendly, so I guess all’s well that ended well. That one squirrel knew how to get his stuff- maybe he’s interacted with humans before. Remember ” Impy” the imposter ? Do you see him still ?
    I can just see in my mind, this little cutie following you and asking you for treats.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      This squirrel was indeed a cutie – it made me laugh Susie because he had an attitude initially, then he realized “hmm, maybe I should not snub her, after all she DOES have peanuts and I like peanuts.” I had to laugh because sometimes the squirrels are so transparent … they remember they were/are conditioned to fear humans and stick with their own kind, yet they are hungry and the “new” squirrels, for a first encounter with me, are wary and approach carefully until they deem it “safe” and I won’t hurt them. Actually I call all the squirrels “him”/”he” if they don’t have names to be honest. The reference to a panhandler is someone who is asking for handouts, like a person who is in the street begging. When I worked in downtown Detroit we did have panhandlers – they would stand outside big office buildings and catch the people going into work in the morning or when they go outside the building on their lunch hour. Now, some people pass them by, some people give them some money to get coffee or something to eat. Often times people would buy them a cup of coffee or give them a sandwich, or some other food, rather than money. You get to know all these people – they are harmless, just without a home and hungry.
      I wasn’t sure whether to make the reference as I would never insult anyone – people fall on hard times for many reasons, but the squirrels are indeed like a panhandler … they will move from person to person looking for “donations”. I am going to the Park in a few minutes to see Parker and his friends and I have never seen that imposter again – I would now recognize that dark nose. He might have lived in the neighborhood as opposed to the Park. I am so glad it is nice weather today.

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  5. Ally Bean says:

    I always carry a Ziploc bag of peanuts in my pocket

    I’m laughing here. This line alone might be my favorite thought from this post. Not that I think you’re nuts for doing so [pun intended] but because of the casualness with which you say it. No big deal. Just ready for squirrel friends no matter where I go. Your photos are great, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ally – glad you liked the photos and that line – funny you mention it because in the Summer, I have a mesh bag I attach to my fanny pack when I walk. I stick the Ziploc bag in there so I can access peanuts with one hand, use the point-and-shoot camera with the other hand – it’s more difficult in the Winter months to do both things and keep warm fingers (and the flip-back fingers. gloves don’t work that well for me). I usually empty the whole bag at one time but sometimes I don’t if others were there before me feeding the squirrels. That is how I started feeding Grady the gray squirrel outside my house. I tossed him a couple of peanuts I had left at the end of my walk. He scampered over to get them – the next day I returned from walking and he was sitting on the porch waiting for me. I thought to myself “is this a coincidence?” No, he was there and continues to be there every morning – now he has a fox squirrel friend he brings with him. I have pics of them showing up together – now the neighborhood birds come too, a menagerie showing up for breakfast, I feel like the local greasy spoon! I have gone to a store or somewhere else and I’ll be digging for something in my pocket in the Winter, or when I wear a coat and have to pull out peanuts first – I say to people “I have a following at the parks I frequent.” I once said in a blog post that I am like the mother of a new baby who must tote along diapers and a burp cloth wherever she goes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ruthsoaper says:

    He certainly wasn’t camera shy. Of course he was well paid for this modeling job. LOL. Have a great day Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      No he wasn’t shy in the least Ruth. You’re right – he said take out my modeling fee in peanuts. I love how he changed his mind. Now how fickle was that? I know it was the same squirrel as I had not gone far and there were no other ones around. Enjoy your weekend Ruth – it was beautiful this morning … we so deserved some sun and moderate temps for a change!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness – such chubby cheeks! You perfectly captured the story! xo kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Kim – no one could turn away from that pleading look. If you didn’t have peanuts on you, you’d hold up your finger and say “hold that pose and let me run to the store and get you a PayDay or a Snickers bar!”

      Like

  8. Delightful post Linda! I love how you captured this little guy coming down the tree to nibble away at the peanuts. Lucky you to have porch pets like cardinals and jays. There are some grey squirrels around here too, but we haven’t had many visits of them this winter. Hopefully the weather won’t be too crazy for you this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – I am pretty sure it is the same squirrel I saw at that park last Summer. He was like the guardian of the gates and he chattered at me, but he had the cover of the leaves of the tree, so I don’t think he felt so vulnerable as being out on the bare branches. You have to wonder if someone tried to harm them, when they hesitate like that? He was going so slowly down the tree – the squirrels where I walk all the time come down the tree lickedy-split! We had a great weather day today – sunshine and it was cold but if you bundle up, no problem. It is the icy precip that has plagued my walks. I’m reluctant to walk on it, especially if snow is over the sidewalk and we’ve had wintry precip. You can’t see glare ice. Tomorrow daylight will be nice, then it kind of falls apart with rain and heavy winds the latter part of the weekend.

      Like

  9. Shelley says:

    You make friends wherever you go – your kindness spreads in so many ways – those squirrels are so lucky! Great photos of the squirrel too – it’s like they pose for you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelly, that is nice of you to say that. Once we have some nicer weather, I’ll add a few more critters to the posts, like the geese with their goslings, baby robins, ducklings and I’ve been trying to get cygnets for several years but last year’s ever-present rain each weekend killed that chance. I have to admit the squirrels are the easiest to capture photos of and they are the most endearing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Aw, I can’t wait to see those photos – I adore watching the little creatures learn to navigate the world. Their moms are so protective, so I’ll enjoy seeing how you capture them! Soon we’ll have Spring weather…soon!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, the geese especially are protective of their offspring. We walkers have to go around them on the pathway as they monopolize it and will hiss and flap their wings if they deem us a threat. We are having torrential rain right now and winds that sound like the end of the world out there. Rain is just pelting the house in torrents! This weather is crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        I’ve been chased down by them before, so yeah, I stay clear and take the zoom lens along to get pictures. We had that crazy wind yesterday and now snow. Oh, Joy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I took them bread one time years ago … there were just a few geese, so gave them the bread and put the bag in my pocket. But other geese came along and wanted what the others had and started chasing me … a big group of them. It terrified the other walkers and I just kind of melded into a group of people and the geese lost sight of me. First and last time to feed them. We have a high wind advisory today – gusting now around 25 but going up to 45 later until 4:00 p.m. We had torrential rain earlier, maybe snow depending on the temp. Yesterday and Friday were indeed beautiful days but cold … cold is fine as long as there is no wintry precip. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have two big bags of raw (shelled) peanuts in the fridge; now i’ll have to get me some tonight! (We have enough acorns in the backyard… so all those peanuts stay indoors.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had two Ziploc bags of safflower seeds I held back from the “feast” I made for the birds and squirrels at Christmas time, and those cardinals will just not look at them, even though I fed that female cardinal a Dixie cup of them every night when I got home from work (this was years ago). My front porch is a mess of safflower seeds and peanut shells. The birds were swiping the peanuts from under the squirrels’ noses – everyone is hungry, the ground is too frozen to access their food.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great that you are helping them through this nasty winter. I’ve got enough critters inside the house to feed. I’ll stick with feeding my mother-in-law’s outdoor critters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It’s been a tough Winter for them. I gave the squirrels quite a lot of peanuts today as I knew we were getting this bad weather and then some wintry precip again Sunday afternoon so I might not make it down there in a few days. Obviously I’ve fed them enough Friday and Saturday as they went back to their nests. They can’t access all the nuts they buried as the ground is too frozen – likely it is the same for you as we are are not that far apart geographically.

      Like

  12. Such a sweet post. I love how your squirrel following is increasing as you go along your travels. You are such a sweet caring soul Linda ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. loved the first shot Linda. You might want to try experimenting with using the flash for fill light. It would make the colours pop on a dull day as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lindasschaub says:

    Glad you liked this up-close-and-personal squirrel shot Wayne … it wasn’t even Parker getting that close! At first this guy played hard to get, and maybe uninterested or aloof, then decided it was worthwhile hunting me down for some peanuts. Yes, I was disappointed it was a little dark for this shot, but it was quite overcast that day (the same day I went to the four parks and it kept snowing off and on) … I had the the digital compact so it automatically flashes when it is a low-light situation. You’d think the snow would have made the background brighter?

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  15. Oh my!! That first picture ❤️

    Like

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