Last week I mentioned that the “real Winter” was wary of putting in an appearance and perhaps I jinxed things?
Winter has returned with a vengeance, though you would not have known that Saturday. We had Spring-like temperatures and rain that began at just before midnight on Friday and continued nonstop through Saturday. We got about 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) of rain altogether. I understand that if that precip had been snow, we’d have ended up with 25 inches (63 cms) of the white stuff. Yikes!
We lucked out, though the sidewalks and driveway looked like a washboard Sunday morning and the same scenario happened this morning. A light dusting of snow made shoveling or sweeping seem like a waste of time. I think the snow would provide a better walking surface until everything melts away when temperatures climb again on Tuesday. In reading the Facebook forum for local happenings, it seems a lot of homeowners in our City had extensive flooding. The northern counties did not fare so well when rain morphed into a freezing drizzle and ice coated the streets. The weather folks issued warnings in advance for not only torrential rain, but icy conditions and then snow … a smorgasbord of not only crummy, but also dangerous, weather. DTE, our energy provider, was so sure we would encounter massive downed lines and power outages as a result of the ice storm, that they requested 200 linemen from three neighboring states. By a stroke of luck, the temperature was just a smidge over the freezing mark and the widespread ice damage which was anticipated, did not occur, so the extra linemen returned to their respective states.
I’ll be putting my jaunts to the Park on hold until all the ice is gone – now we have predictions for a snow/ice storm on Friday into Saturday. My walking regimen took a major hit over the last week. In fact, I have not done very well since the beginning of the year, racking up barely ten miles to date. I took last Monday to run errands, as I knew the weather report looked dicey for the next week to ten days.
Because my motto is “seize the day” when it comes to walking, as you know, Fall-like temperatures and my wish to reach my year-end goal, meant I enjoyed a lot of walking time in December. Christmas Day was an exception when we had freezing fog which lasted until early afternoon. I got out later in the day, but my furry and feathered pals were tucked into their respective nests already. I sure hope my peanut-eating pals are doing okay at the Park. I continue to cater to a few squirrels and birds who come calling at the door for peanuts.
Shadow play …
I have some new followers since the last time I did a post exclusively about Parker, my favorite peanut pal at Council Point Park. This little Fox squirrel has my heart and I am not shy about telling you that I cater to him more than the others, with secret stashes of treats and niceties just for him. Yes, those little indulgences like extra Nutter Butters, peanut M&Ms or the biggest and shiniest apple are because I cannot resist those big brown eyes and that tail that swishes when he sees me. 🙂 I admit I am a sucker for his wily ways and in turn this little guy sometimes may be found trailing around behind me like a faithful dog.
Here is Parker happily noshing on a nut in a tree.
So … one sunny day in December, the sun was low in the sky allowing for some fun shadows. Seeing my elongated legs and Parker’s fuzzy tail as he sat contently by my side just gave me a smile. I spent about a half-hour getting the shots just right, repeatedly telling my furry friend to “hold that pose sweetie!”
What is not to love about a sunny day, especially when you can make a few fun shadows?
Apparently Parker was basking in the sun, (as well as all my extra attention), because at the end of my trek on the perimeter path, I walked back to my car and there he was, waiting ever so sweetly by the rear tire of my car. He knows two things: 1) I will give him more peanuts because I like him; and 2) I will give him even extra peanuts which I put far enough away from the car, so he is occupied and I can beat a hasty retreat and drive away without running over him. Parker the Squirrel is no slouch when it comes to treats!
For those who do not know, this little Fox squirrel was given the moniker of “Parker” several years ago by me. I don’t always drive to the Park, but when I do, this sly little squirrel recognized my car and parked himself next to it, while hoping to scam a few more peanuts before I headed home. Of course, I had already given him peanuts when I walked the first loop, and sometimes each subsequent loop after that. So this became a ritual – I am sure he climbs to the highest tree to scope out when I’m ready to leave the Park.
Parker is fond of putting his paw on my shoe top to get my attention, and, has, on a few occasions, if I don’t succumb to the “treat stare” and tender peanuts quickly enough, attempted to scale my pant leg to reach the peanuts I have hanging in a mesh bag clipped to my fanny pack, or he will start trying to reach my coat pocket where a bag of peanuts peeking out entices him to do acrobatics.
He often begins dancing around my feet …
… then resting a front paw on my shoe and often gazing up at me with that “peanuts pretty please” treat stare!
So, without a shadow of a doubt, Parker is my favorite Park squirrel and he knows it and now you know why too!