Today is not only Canadian Thanksgiving, but it is also Columbus Day. When I used to work downtown, it was a day that the bus was empty and you could sit anywhere you chose to, as so many regular bus riders had a three-day holiday. The business district was filled with various banks that were headquartered in downtown Detroit. Do you think those bank workers were paying homage to ol’ Christopher Columbus by savoring a fine Italian meal and toasting him by sipping a nice Chianti, or, … were they simply enjoying their three-day holiday?
When I was a kid growing up in Canada, I learned all about Columbus and his three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. My history textbooks informed me he was heralded for discovering America. Many years later I learned this was a misnomer – “fake news” – in fact, Christopher Columbus never even set foot in North America let alone discover it. Details, details – who wants to muddy up the story with details, right?
But the headline to this post says “discoveries” so today we’ll focus on a cute squirrel who discovered peanuts in my backyard and provided some photo ops to share with you. In case this squirrel looks familiar, it is Grady the Gray Squirrel that I shared stories about last Fall and Winter, and early Spring as well. You first glimpsed this cutie pie in this post where he made his debut, well … his picture debut anyway.
I first “met” Grady after I tossed him some peanuts when I finished my walk one morning last Fall. My Ziploc bag was nearly empty and I shared what I had with him on the ground and he scampered over. I rarely see gray squirrels in the neighborhood or at the Park, and he was so small and a wee bit skittish. He took his peanuts “to go” and I continued feeding him when I returned from my walk the next few days. Then I ran an errand one morning and was home later … there he was, sitting on the porch waiting for me. Sucker that I am, I gave him extra peanuts, which he happily accepted and this treat became a permanent ritual. Soon, he was joined by two black squirrels, a pair of Northern Cardinals and a pair of Bluejays, all noshing on nuts on the front porch. Well, I was willing to accommodate his friends who also showed up and I watched in delight at my front door. It was all good until a big, fat Fox squirrel (the same species as Parker) came along and hogged the peanuts for himself, parking his fat butt on top of them and chasing the other squirrels into the street and not allowing the birds access either. So he ruined it for everyone … I worried Grady or the other two squirrels might get run over by a car, so it was already April and I ended the treats altogether.
So last week, Grady showed up on the sidewalk one day when I returned from walking. Because I have a soft spot in my heart for dark brown pleading eyes and a swishing tail, I gave him six peanuts and said “now keep this under your hat okay? This is between you and me.” The next day, he showed up and this time I opened the gate and made him follow me to the backyard. I looked behind me, and he was obediently tagging along. He knew from past practice it would be worth his while.
Three days running, I went to the backyard and put some peanuts there before I left on my walk. When I returned, the peanuts were gone.
Friday morning I stole into the backyard after returning from walking. It was a beautiful and warm day. Grady must have slept in as the peanuts were still there untouched.
Nope, he was just arriving … I pulled the camera out of the case and hoped for a pose. He posed nicely and I’ve never gotten him so close up as he’s very timid.
Who could resist a face so sweet and innocent and not want to spend one’s “allowance” to feed such a cute critter?
So pfft to Columbus and his discovery. Grady’s discovery made his day and mine too.