… especially when it comes to peanuts.
The collection of photos in today’s post are from last Sunday when I was amblin’ and ramblin’ around Council Point Park for almost three hours. It wasn’t the prettiest of days, but at least I wasn’t going to have any shadows in my photos. I’ll tell you that it was warmish though – almost 70 degrees by the time I got home.
During the work week when I walk at my favorite nature nook, I usually have the camera handy, but, if I visit on a weekend, I’ll meander around, looking for a photo op at this venue. I surely should know every nook and cranny by heart after nearly six years, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of miles logged on the paved pathway.
I have a tried-and-true strategy for when I’m packing treats, which may range from cookies to apples, even mini pumpkins. I’ll begin by making multiple trips on what I call “the critter side” i.e. the walking loop with the most trees, which translates to the most squirrels and birds. The second loop is mostly meh, except for an occasional squirrel or bird that strays over there.
Sharin’ the love on my Sunday stroll.
I decided I’d share some love with my furry pals, so I bought along a container of “Nutter Butters” those delicious sandwich cookies that have a layer of peanut butter in between. I buy the grab-and-go cups which are the mini cookies, so they are just the right size for my pals to munch on and their tiny paws to manipulate.
I’ve developed a technique for dispensing treats to the squirrels and I think I’ve perfected it since my first attempt at introducing Parker to M&Ms back in 2017, when I mistakenly thought “who doesn’t love these candies that melt in your mouth, not in your hand, er … paw?” Nope, peanuts are always primo according to my peanut pals.
So, with all the time in the world, I ambled around the entire loop, distributing cookies AND the occasional peanut as well.
As mentioned above, my strategy for photo ops is to walk around the first loop twice, ensuring each squirrel that scurries over to see me gets a little stash of peanuts. By the time I’ve walked around twice, the third time is the charm since I can pass out cookies instead of peanuts, um … most of the time anyway.
Uncapping that cup of carb-and-peanutty goodness sent a delicious smell wafting from my pocket. I even felt a hunger pang, so did this squirrel detect that peanutty smell?
You would think so, but he was more appreciative of peanuts than those bite-sized bits.
Evidently there were a few new kids on the block last Sunday because after I tossed down a couple of these quarter-sized treats, they got the sniff test, then a glance at me as if to say “thanks, this is nice, but you know I really prefer peanuts to nibble on.”
I know that look – it is the same look I gave my parents when creamed spinach and chicken livers appeared on my dinner plate back in the day. I daren’t have complained as my parents tolerated no foolishness and I would have been told not to pick at my food, and to think of my dinner plate as a clock, thus “eat around the clock” so I could have dessert. Blech! I drowned the chicken livers in ketchup, force fed the spinach and picked at the potatoes, just to be rewarded with dessert. As to the squirrels, after some urging to “try what Linda is giving you before you turn your nose up at it” the exploration was over and the feasting finally began in earnest … for some of them anyway.
I get such a kick out of studying squirrel behavior here at this Park. These critters are bold and brazen about soliciting food. They know I’m a soft touch and responsive to those pleading eyes, so, a few of my furry pals poked at these peanutty treats, obviously finding no bliss in those tidbits, so, with an expectant look, they turned their gaze to the Ziploc bag in my coat pocket, as if another handout would mysteriously leap out of the bag and land at their feet. Sigh – they are so transparent sometimes.
Clearly, peanuts in the shell prevailed over Nutter Butters, so I guess I’ll stick to peanuts and find them something else for the occasional treat going forward.
This is Parker ready to nosh on a nut on this very warped memorial bench.
I felt badly for this mangy-looking fellow who appeared to hang back, away from of his pals. Mangy-looking was not an exaggeration – he had mange on his stomach and part of his neck area.
Initially he rejected my offer of cookies, and even when I tried to coax him over with a few peanuts, he preferred to scrape his body along the tree branch and run his paws over his face and neck. I sympathized with him, even cooing a bit over his predicament.
I was patient, until he scratched that itch and finally bounded over to see me. It seems we were both rewarded for our patience.