Glimpses of Grady.

This post is way overdue.  After all, I filled my blog with many tales about all my “porch pals” during the Fall of 2018 through early Spring 2019.  Then, all of a sudden, there were no more posts that mentioned my furry and feathered friends who greeted me each morning to enjoy peanuts on my front porch.

You already know that Parker is my favorite squirrel at Council Point Park; well, Grady was the neighborhood counterpart to Parker.

There’s always a backstory.

There’s always a backstory and for some of my newer followers, I’ll give you the scoop about Grady, along with photos that you can see from prior posts.

In late Summer of 2018, a casual toss of a few peanuts to a cute Gray Squirrel that suddenly appeared when I walked up my driveway, began a chain of events and provided fodder for many blog posts. 

I was at the tail end of my Ziploc bag of peanuts and I said “you’re new around here – we don’t get many Gray Squirrels; do you want a peanut honey?”  He was a tad nervous but scampered over a wee bit closer and I dumped out the rest of the bag of peanuts for him.  I said “it’s your lucky day, bye now” and walked into the house.

The next morning I took the car as I had errands to run and didn’t get home until a little later than usual.  I pulled into the driveway to find this cutie pie sitting on the front porch.  I said “were you waiting for me all that time?”  I always carry peanuts on me, they are in a Ziploc bag  inside a mesh bag that hangs on my fanny pack.  In the Winter, I carry them in my coat pocket.

So, I fished out a few peanuts and put them on the corner of the porch and he ran to get a couple, then took them “to go” to bury them.  After that day, every time I’d return from my walk or errands, there was my furry friend, waiting for his peanuts.  I named him “Grady the Gray Squirrel” and our daily ritual was peanuts on the corner of the porch, sometimes tossed out from the front door, even before I left for my walk.  The peanuts were always gone when I got home.  I began to give him more and more peanuts.  He always took them with him, but remember that this was Fall, so he was socking away those nuts for the long, cold Winter when foraging would be impossible.

Soon the frost was on the pumpkin, then our first snowfall and Grady was still showing up every morning.  He’d see me walking out of the house and soon was a blur of gray as he scurried down “his tree” across the street and raced over to meet me.   After Daylight Saving Time ended in early November and the sun rose later, I would open the door to check the walking conditions, crossing my fingers for no ice or snow.  It was early daylight and there was Grady on the corner of the porch, waiting on me.  Well, being an animal lover, my heart just melted.  This was the exact same relationship I had with Parker at Council Point Park.  He would always come to see me on my arrival at that venue. So, I tossed out some peanuts onto the porch and watched Grady carry those peanuts up to the brick ledge that ran along the front of the house.  Not only was he nimble to climb up the bricks, but he also was a pretty smart cookie to do that, because the ground was frozen by then and there was no digging those sharp claws into the earth to retrieve any peanuts buried in good faith several months before.  This way he intended to have a snack later that day. 

When freezing rain and snow coated my roses which I’d not yet pruned for Winter due to all the rain that Fall, it was Grady who stalked me along the chain-link fence while I took photos of the crystallized rosebuds, frozen in time on November 14th.  These are some of those photos.

“Patience is a virtue Grady” I told him while he paced anxiously, so I tossed him a few peanuts to tide him over while I meandered around the yard looking at the frozen precip on my roses and perennials. I couldn’t open the front door as it was sealed shut with ice.

I began to give Grady more peanuts, some before I went outside, and more when I got outside before going on my walk.  Despite all our interactions, he was always wary of me, as I loomed large at the screen door.  Of course, he was not seeing the glass that separated us when I stood and watched him at the door window.  I managed to click off a series of shots for this post back in February. If you click here you can see Grady on the porch that day.

Soon it became the “Morning Munch Bunch”.

Just like with humans, whenever the goin’ is great, and there is somebody that isn’t part of that action, they want a part of it too.  And, as is often the case with humans, someone has to overstep their bounds and be a spoil sport.  So, this was true here as well and Grady and I could not continue this exclusive relationship forever.  Yup, someone else wanted some peanuts to munch on too. 

First, two black squirrels began nosing around and became regular visitors to the porch .  I’d open the door in the morning to put out peanuts and counted noses – one gray and two black squirrels.  Gray squirrels and black squirrels are much smaller than Fox Squirrels (like Parker).  They don’t just run, but they spring forward, hopping like a pogo stick to get around.  They are very timid around humans … I see that with Midnight, the black squirrel at the Park.   

Soon I could be counting beaks as well as squirrel noses, when a pair of cardinals and blue jays were joining in the morning feast.  It was a joy to watch and I knew they would be eying the front door, waiting for me to open it and toss all the peanuts out onto the porch.  In the beginning the squirrels took their peanuts to go, but then the ground was so frozen … why bother trying to bury them?  They ate their peanuts right on the porch.  The birds did their usual swoop and swipe. If you click here you can see the black squirrel and cardinals as March came to a close.

But beware, because a bully was lurking about.

And then something happened.  A big, fat Fox Squirrel decided he wanted a part of this peanut party.  This intruder with the wide hips and a big bum that sported a long and bushy tail was pushy.  He would not just take one or two peanuts and leave – no, he was piggy and parked himself on top of the peanuts, only moving from where he sat, to access the next ones that he would shove into his mouth, thus monopolizing everyone’s breakfast. 

That slight shift in position by the Fox Squirrel to get more peanuts was all poor Grady needed and he made a mad dash to retrieve a peanut.  The Fox Squirrel was angry and chased Grady into the street.  I witnessed the whole scenario as I rounded the corner to go into the garage.  If a car was going down the street Grady would have been a goner, a wet spot on the pavement.

I was angry. Defending little Grady, I yelled at the Fox Squirrel and chased him off the porch.  Grady didn’t return, nor did the black squirrels or birds.  It was the same the next day as the remaining peanuts stayed on the porch, still in the shell and untouched. 

A few days later, I went out to walk and the Fox Squirrel had returned and was happily noshing those nuts on the porch from the other day. I watched Grady approach slowly, then he chased poor Grady off the porch and I cringed as he dashed into the street once again.  Grady, always timid, bolted and headed for his tree and retreated into his nest, his safe haven.

So I stopped the ritual all together right then and there.  I did not want to see Grady run over in the street.  But of course, my decision caused there to be other losers in this little morning breakfast ritual, not just the peanut eaters, but myself too.  I enjoyed watching and photographing the bevy of birds and furry fellows coming to feast on peanuts.  I didn’t open the door anymore in the morning for a very long time to dissuade any critters from anticipating a change of heart on my part, but there were no more handouts … period.

I decided if I saw Grady on his side of the street, I’d give him some peanuts.  I think he purposely has been ignoring me, and it made me feel badly.  My actions weren’t intended to scare him or stop feeding him.

Last Saturday after the 5K event at Council Point Park, I was later than usual arriving home, and there he was – up in his tree.  I went over to take some pictures, and pulled out the Ziploc bag and jiggled it and held it high in the air.  I spoke softly to him, clicking my tongue as well to entice him to come down, but, he ran further up the tree and rebuffed me, staring down at me like I was a stranger. 

I took his picture anyway and you see a disgruntled-looking pose, even the side-eye, neither which I deserved I might add .  The black squirrels have not been around either and I assume they, like the cardinals and jays, have moved on.  

There is one in every crowd who must ruin the status quo for others.

Below are a few pictures of Grady that I took last Saturday. Quite honestly I’d rather see him aloof than lying dead in the street … I’ll try to win him over again, so stay tuned!

This was at my house, coming down my next-door neighbor’s tree. See that steely glance, and then Grady hightailed it across the street to his safe haven.
That look … “what do ya want with me?” is what he seemed to say.
“Hmm – well she appears harmless but I’ll just keep inching up my tree.”
“Maybe if I give this lady with the camera the side-eye, she’ll just take a hike?”
“Well, she can’t touch me here – I’ll permit her a profile picture and perhaps she’ll skedaddle!”

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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44 Responses to Glimpses of Grady.

  1. Cherie says:

    Really enjoyed this Linda! I hope Grady and you get back together! ❣️ I am shocked that I don’t have squirrels living and playing in my gazebo cupola this year—-first time in a long while. I used to get so angry with them for chewing the wood, but I think I am missing them. Never thought I’d say THAT!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed this post Cherie. I was so angry at that Fox Squirrel! I was enjoying all those visitors every morning. I think your squirrels got sick from gorging themselves on all John’s delicious treats that he put outside (wasn’t that in the gazebo)? Now you have deer loping around your neighborhood instead. I worry about the squirrels in the neighborhood. We have many Cooper’s Hawks around here. I was walking back from the 5K event at Council Point Park last Saturday and saw three big ones circling nearby.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He’s so cute! I’m glad to see that he still around. I haven’t seen our grey squirrel in a long while.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Grady and all the black squirrels are so petite next to the big Fox squirrels. I think the black squirrel at the Park lives there permanently now because I believe he had a family feeding him nearby and they either have moved, stopped feeding him, or perhaps are away at a cottage up North for the Summer. A lot of people do that once the kids are out of school. The black squirrel (Midnight) is now there at the Park every day and while he won’t come over to me or beg for peanuts like the others, he is approaching me more. He still runs pretty fast once he gets one peanut … he’s not piggy like the other squirrels can be sometimes. I got some cute shots of him the other day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ruthsoaper says:

    You are such a good friend to these critters. I sure Grady will come around.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – I felt genuinely bad to have to stop feeding Grady, the black squirrels and the birds … feeding those peanuts did benefit all of us in different ways.
      I see the squirrels in the neighborhoods when walking to the Park and they want to run across the street. All of a sudden, they will bolt across the street, they hesitate then finally decide to dash across in the path of an oncoming car. I cringe and have to turn my head and sometimes a driver will either see it or perhaps my facial expression and they stop.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………………I truly enjoyed your blog tonight on Miss Grady……………………..I did not like the winter pictures from November and March with all of the snow I felt cold looking at them

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed revisiting Grady Ann Marie. I stopped feeding my pals in late April and unbelievably I figured at that time they’d be okay and able to forage and find their peanuts they hid in the Fall. However, you and I know that the ground remained frozen, or at least very hard, and before all this incessant rain started, the squirrels were still not digging up their peanuts … not in the neighborhood, not at the Park. In fact, I’ll be writing about one squirrel in particular, who would not eat the peanuts, insisted on burying them … that tells me that the critters have an innate sense about another cold Winter. There is no way they could have accessed all that they buried in the ground in late Summer/Fall 2018. They started burying those peanuts last August when we had that real chilly spell. The weather is just wacky. I have turned off the furnace, but it is really chilly in the house, and I’ve still not called for the annual A/C check. I know they will be backed up for months as they can’t check when it is under a certain temperatures – I have had them cancel/reschedule in the past if the appointment day was too cold. I prefer it cooler for walking and a lower bill, but a little more sunshine would be great.

      Like

  5. susieshy45 says:

    Poor Grady !! We who have been bullied stand by you, Grady.
    If you put peanuts on your front porch again, would the fox squirrel get them? Where does the fox squirrel eat at other times?
    Looking forward to reading more of Grady’s tales.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, I wanted to defend little Grady because I, too, have been bullied in the past, so I shared this little guy’s pain. Susie, the Fox squirrels like Parker and the others are cute and attentive, don’t get me wrong, but they clearly have the advantage over the others due to their size and they are more brazen and bolder about approaching humans. The little black squirrel at the Park (Midnight) seems to be there all the time now. He has moved out of the neighborhood and into the Park. He will come around me, but I have to be careful not to make any sudden movements like jiggling the bag too loud, or moving my arms to get the camera, etc. or he runs away. I took a lot of shots of him the other morning and not looked at them yet, but he didn’t want all the peanuts I put there on the path, just one peanut was fine for him, and he ran up and down several trees with that one peanut in his mouth … very cute, but you have to wonder his mindset of not just eating it, or burying it, when he had others to eat or hide and at that point, there were no other squirrels around … just him and me. The squirrels in the neighborhood must be getting berries from bushes or trees to exist. I don’t see anyone with squirrel feeders (dried corn cob holders) so I suspect they are raiding the birdfeeders (they did that to mine when I still fed the birds).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    It’s amazing how you have Grady “trained” to come when he sees you. You could do a scientific study on squirrel behavior. I read a book not too long ago that made the point that animals have a lot more intelligence than we give them credit for. They have human-like emotions too. That makes sense to me – our human emotions must have come from somewhere!

    That fox squirrel sounds like a typical big bully -sitting on the peanuts so no one else could get at them while he ate. I don’t blame you for halting the ritual. You didn’t want Grady to get run over! I’m sure you will win him over again, Linda. You have the patience and the right bait – peanuts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’ll tell you that I could do a scientific study on the little black squirrel (Midnight) at the Park. I poured out about 6 peanuts for him, and he took one and ran up and down several trees, all around the grass around the trees, and had that peanut clenched between his teeth. He did not want to eat it, didn’t want to bury it – I pointed at the pile on the path and he just looked at me. I think Midnight had a family who was feeding him – maybe they stopped, maybe they are on vacation, but he’s been around in the Park. But there is something that he is fearful of – not having food? I took a lot of photos, then decided he was not going to eat it, but keep it, so I finally moved on. So, I may write about it – was it a mindset of happy to have something to eat, thinking you should store it for Winter but not sure? We had 50 degrees with a real feel of 47 degrees, so perhaps these squirrels think Fall is setting in.

      That Fox squirrel made me mad Laurie – he was being a bully, so I stopped. I’m going to try to cater to Grady when I see him.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely photos, the squirrels are very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful story about Grady, Linda! 🙂
    We have coyotes and cars around our area and the squirrels have to be very watchful and intelligent. I don’t like how some squirrels tend to dash out in front of cars without pause. I drive slow if they are around but some of our neighbors would gladly run them over just for “sport.” There are a lot of wackos out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Tom, glad you enjoyed it. I felt badly cutting my porch pals off, and was glad it was not the dead of Winter, but yes, I did not want to see him hit by a car. I sometimes see the squirrels in the street, they start to race across, then hesitate and run back, only to run out again a second time. Those cringe-worthy moments. On the news yesterday, someone was shooting darts at robins and leaving their bodies laying around in plain sight. I agree with you – I have no words sometimes.

      Like

  9. Isn’t it crazy how our pets (inside or outside) can make us feel so guilty?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes Diane, they give us “the look” and that gets me (or has gotten me in the past) every single time. I have been at the Park and was taking pictures and overlooked a squirrel only to see something in my peripheral vision – a squirrel looking up at me as if to say “how dare you do something else but take care of my needs first?” I have had them step on my toes, and even start to climb up my leg. They are cute but just as demanding as the family dog or cat. I’m not sure I can have them stepping on my toes or getting too close as I heard on the news that ticks are very bad this year and squirrels may be carrying ticks on them. I step onto the grass a lot of the time to feed the squirrels, sidestep the geese or just while taking pictures. Another walker mentioned she has gone home with a tick on her pants two times, so I have to more careful and I am so leery now of walking in the big parks (not that it matters, most of the metroparks are flooded and will be more so after this weekend’s rain- (we are not getting six inches of rain like you, but enough of it). Are you still going to the metroparks with your clients? Be careful and check them for ticks if you stray off the path(s).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Some really nice squirrel pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Shelley says:

    Aw, the return of the Gradysescapades! 🙂 I can see why you would be charmed by his aloofness. He definitely appears interested in what you might have to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh I love this story of how Grady came into your life. ❤. You have such a connection with these beautiful souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. theres just plenty around,come winter you’ll be the only show in town again!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mackenzie says:

    Dawww!!! Grady!!!! How sweet ❤ That does make me so mad about the darn fox squirrel though. Doesn't he know Grady is VIP?! Thanks for sharing these shot of him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You got that right! There is a bully in every crowd and when that Fox squirrel sat on the peanuts then moved a tad and Grady tried to grab on, it made me so mad – I can’t tolerate that activity as I hate bullying of any kind. But Grady sees me as the person who cut off his treats, not the person who possibly saved him from a car running him over. Oh well, the way to a squirrel’s heart is through his stomach – I’ll try to win him back but across the street. 🙂

      Like

  15. Eliza says:

    I really enjoyed reading it

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Eliza – he is really a cutie pie and I hope to win him back again – he does not understand why I stopped feeding him was for his own good unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        I did. I’ve read all the posts about him – I think – it was nice to see a summary of it. I like him and parker 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know you’d like each of them, though Grady is a little aloof now (which I’ll try to remedy hopefully). Parker remains a true little buddy. I have some more photos of two other squirrels to spotlight – very cute pictures of each of them. No Parker in them unfortunately … a black squirrel and a tufted-ear squirrel. We don’t have tufted ear squirrels around here – he must be a transplant! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Are you naming them yet?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I haven’t yet – I thought the black squirrel was Midnight but it turns out it was a female and must have babies up in the nest. I think Midnight was a male. I just get quick glimpses of the black squirrels as they run and dart – they are very skittish. The tufted ear squirrel has not been named. What should I call him Eliza?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        Tufty. Cutie. Mike. Spiff. can’t think of anything good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Those would work for him with his rings of fur around his ears. I was stymied too!

        Liked by 1 person

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