Tuesday Musings.

I decided to dust off my “Tuesday Musings” feature as it’s been awhile and, after all, it is “Squirrel Appreciation Day” (no, I don’t make this stuff up ).

There really is such a day to appreciate and honor our furry friends – of course, some could say that the squirrels could likewise honor their benefactors, but, for now we’ll just call it even … hey, what are a few peanuts shared between friends? Those squirrels provide not just a smile or two for me, but plenty of fodder for this blog as you know.

Yep, they play me like a fiddle … I’m not complaining though.

I recently spotlighted Parker, the Fox squirrel I’ve been interacting with for several years at Council Point Park. I’ve taken the liberty of naming a few more squirrels at my favorite nature nook, but only because they are readily identifiable, like “Stubby” since half his tail is missing and “Midnight” who, for the longest time was the one and only black squirrel at this venue. There are now lots of little black squirrels running around the pathway, so I might have to retire that moniker.

The gray squirrels are petite, cute and fluffy – I’d like to scoop them up and cuddle them like you would a kitten or puppy.

I like when they stand up like these squirrels are doing, but they also amuse me with their funny antics as well, like this guy who looks too pooped to participate, even for peanuts.

A little pile of peanuts guarantees they’ll hold still for a shot … most of the time. The peanuts must pass the sniff test first however.

Then all systems are go!

All squirrels are cute and attentive and I’m sure their mamas taught them just what moves to make for optimum treats and attention. The Park squirrels are also known to beg at the first turn of the walking loop, only to run across the grassy donut area, to catch you as you complete that same loop, like they didn’t see you 15-20 minutes before. Yes, they think us peanut feeders are clueless.

I sometimes wonder if they love me for my peanuts or the endearments I offer up when I bend down to feed them … why not come runnin’ to someone who coos sweet nothin’s and calls you “Sweetie” or “Dumplin’” or “Honey” – yes, it’s all good if you’re a squirrel once the Peanut Lady arrives.

I’m not new to the rodeo with the neighborhood squirrels either.

Many years ago, the neighborhood squirrel we named “Sammy” came a’ callin’ every morning. He went to all the houses that supplied the treats, then when he was done on his rounds, he made a second appearance. Now there’s a squirrel who knew how to work a crowd.

Then there are the delightful squirrels who hang out in the many trees in the ‘hood near my house. I’ve named a few of them, as you know from my posts about “Grady the Gray Squirrel” and “Pitch” and “Tar” the two black squirrels who hang out at my house. Last year, several blog posts were devoted to the escapades of those three squirrels, a pair of cardinals and a blue jay or two, all who gathered on the front porch for peanuts every morning. It was all great fun, and made for some cute photos (once they all understood that when I was behind the storm door, there was a glass between us and I was not going to reach out and grab them and pull them inside). But, you’ll recall, that someone always has to be a party pooper and in this case, it was a big Fox squirrel (like Parker) who decided all the peanuts should go to him. He sat on those peanuts, only moving his big furry butt, to retrieve another peanut. If anyone came near, he chased them away. I worried the smaller squirrels would get run over in the street, so I ended the peanut feasting and had no intentions of resuming it in the Fall of 2019.

But, the chilly air in Fall, combined with Grady, who greeted me when I returned from my walk every day, made me change my mind. (I’m such a pushover when it comes to critters.) I started feeding Grady only in the backyard and said “shhhh – don’t tell the other squirrels!” But soon the peanuts were discovered, by not only squirrels and birds, but a raccoon. I don’t live in the woods but my neighbor reported seeing a fat raccoon in both of our yards. We had to invoke Plan “B” in short order. Grady and another gray squirrel, new to the ‘hood (and the house) seem to have an insatiable appetite for peanuts. I toss out about ten before I go on my walk and when I return, there they are again, mirror images of one another, sitting on haunches and swishing their fuzzy tails.

Friday when I returned from my walk, I had the camera in one hand and a few peanuts ready in the other hand, as I wanted Grady’s photo for this post. Right on cue, there he was, sittin’ pretty and waiting for his treat.

I dare you to walk past this plaintive look and shameless begging without tossing out a nut or two … yes, what’s a squirrel feeder to do, but oblige them?

In return for peanuts, I got a few photos of the little nipper.

I’m not the only one who falls prey to their cute antics.

Here’s a funny tale. In mid-December I stopped at the grocery store to load up on peanuts. I always try to have at least eight to ten bags on hand in the Winter, since I don’t like having to go out to the grocery store in the snow and I was starting to run low. Meijer usually carries three types and they are piled high in a big bin in the produce department. They don’t sell peanuts in bulk, just Hampton Farms cellophane bags of the raw, jumbo unsalted and the salted varieties. I always opt for the jumbo unsalted … the squirrels don’t need the extra sodium and I don’t want salt on my fingers while using the camera.

So on that day, all they had in stock were three bags of salted peanuts. I scooped those up and looked around for a stock person to check in the back for more. Trying to find a stock person during the Christmas season is not easy; the breathless stock boy confirmed there were no more peanuts in the backroom. Not good!

I mixed the salted peanuts with some I had on hand and shook off as much salt as I could, apologizing to my furry friends for each whoosh of salt that flew up as I tossed peanuts onto the path or sidewalk.

Flash forward to January 6th – I made it back to Meijer with just a handful of items on MY grocery list, but intending to stock up on peanuts for THEM. This time they only had raw peanuts – that is fine, they are for human consumption, so no worries about feeding them something funky. I piled 14 bags into my shopping cart. I figured that would last a long time as I still had some at home.

While strolling down the next aisle, a woman shopper came over to me and tapped me on the arm and said “I have to ask you – do you feed the squirrels too?” Yes, another kindred soul who has her favorite backyard “pets” just like I do. She pointed to her cart where a similar sized pile of cellophane bags took up a good portion of her cart. We shared a smile and a giggle, members of a secret club who dip into their “allowance” to feed their furry friends. She said “I stocked up today because last time they only had salted peanuts and I was not going to feed them that!” I said “wow – now I feel like a bad squirrel parent” and told her how I dusted off the salt and mixed them with the other peanuts on hand. She said she bought crackers and peanut butter and her squirrels liked that … so ask me if I went over and added Triscuits and peanut butter to my cart.

Nah, you don’t have to ask – you know I did! P.S. – it’s not a hardship adding those items as I eat that for a snack all the time.

[Squirrel Appreciation Day image provided by Pinterest]

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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46 Responses to Tuesday Musings.

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Happy Squirrel Day to you! May your bag of peanuts never be empty!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Laurie says:

    Who knew there is a “Squirrel Appreciation Day”? Of course, it has to be you, Linda! 🙂 Now maybe we will see some pictures of raccoons along with the squirrels and birds. I wonder if those squirrels liked the salted peanuts better than unsalted. My hubby’s favorite snack is Triscuits and peanut butter (or cheese). He might sit up and pose for a photo for that treat too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I never learned about it until last year I believe. And on Twitter today, #SquirrelAppreciationDay was trending briefly. They went for the salted peanuts too, but I took a few big Ziploc bags and shook the peanuts to get rid of excess salt first, but a little puff of salt would still rise up as I put them down though. I have to ask my neighbor if the raccoon is still showing up. He gets up for work in the middle of the night and was standing in the kitchen and looked out the doorwall and there it was looking back at him in the dark of night – he said it scared him. I really like that treat too and don’t see it being bad for you – I use Jif Natural Peanut Butter (Low Sodium) and Triscuits with Sea Salt or Swiss cheese and find both satisfying. I would pose too – I have that treat everyday and never get tired of it Laurie!

      Like

  3. Compared to many hobbies, feeding wildlife is relatively inexpensive. I buy sunflower seeds in 50 lb. bags and I get 400 lbs. at a time. It’s cheaper that way and like you I prefer not to have to run to the feed mill (where it’s considerably cheaper) in bad weather. I am fortunately that I can store it in my garage without any mice taking a cut.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It’s an inexpensive hobby and very rewarding – you are lucky to store it in the garage without the mice chewing the bag and getting seeds everywhere. I had a mouse in the garage and he chewed on my fiberboard storage cabinets and left piles of sawdust everywhere. When I fed the birds, I had a huge Rubbermaid Tote and a smaller one inside the big one in the basement. I stored the opened bags of seeds and peanuts (which I used to be able to buy in bulk) in there – Meijer has great deals on sunflower seeds, sometimes BOGO free. I waited for them to have the good sales. The unopened bags were just propped against the wall. My mother warned me “one moth in the house and/or a mouse and that food and you both go.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get moths in the garage but I don’t care. They don’t do much harm there. I have a galvanized metal can on my back patio and that’s where I store the seed that I’m using to fill the feeders. I had to set it up so raccoons can’t get in it. They are very crafty.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I never thought of a galvanized can – I just stored it in the basement and once opened, I put it in the big Rubbermaid containers (with the two parts). I didn’t want the moths but I once opened up Shredded Wheat and opened the brown inner paper wrapper and while I went to get the bowl, some meal worms walked out of the open brown wrapper. I ran the entire box, with the worms outside. I never was too keen on eating it when I was younger and my Mom would make it sometimes as a change from oatmeal, but it was on sale and I bought it – never again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not a shredded wheat fan and now I know why! Sometimes you can get pantry moths. Usually today’s packaging is much better than it used to be and once opened, I transfer to a ziploc bag or plastic container with a secure lid.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. are you familiar with Twiggy? I didn’t know they lived that long?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Wayne – I am familiar with Twiggy and seem to think I saw her on a show about funny animal skits years ago and later in videos on the internet. I had no idea squirrels lived that long either – I always thought 15 years latest, but I bet since she has food and a safe environment and loving pet parents is probably why she has lived so long. I thought they lived 12 to 15 years max!

      Like

      • still,39 years in captivity must be a record!
        I’m waiting for Parker or Grady to run up your leg and perch on your shoulder!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I would think so – I was amazed as I had no idea they lived that long in captivity. Parker has scaled my leg to reach peanuts … his claws grabbing onto my sweatpants in the Winter to reach a pocket if I wasn’t fast enough passing out peanuts, especially if I was taking a picture. The way Grady was dancing around my feet and across from me on the porch last week, I think I could scoop him up easily. What an easy life he could have!

        Like

      • yes, and he would become domesticated like Twiggy and Jill,maybe live longer too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’d be all for it if he was younger as now, he’d have to stay in a cage as I think he would be restless and roam around … I was watching a squirrel out front last week … it jumped onto a tire, ran under the car, but on the suspension I guess as it jumped off the tire at the other side – not the safest thing to do, I wouldn’t think.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s fun that you met a kindred spirit in the supermarket. Long live the Peanut Ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni says:

    They were especially cute today in their poses in honor of their special day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Joni – I had saved some shots from December that I thought were extra cute and that Grady is just a little cutie – as soon as he sees me, he goes up on haunches and begs. I could see that behavior at the Park as people feed them, but not in the neighborhood – he must have other benefactors that he does that too and gleans peanuts for his pose. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca says:

    The fox squirrels are such beautiful squirrels and seem to be so expressive in photos. I particularly like the pooped squirrel. Looks like he didn’t get much sleep the night before. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, they are and that first squirrel had some a pensive look, like he was lost in thought. That pooped squirrel photo was taken recently – usually they do that on really hot days to escape the heat in the tree, so I’m not sure why he did that but it was comical.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ruthsoaper says:

    Happy Squirrel Day! (I guess that’s what you say?) I’m afraid your secret club won’t stay secret – your shopping carts give you away. LOL! What a cutie Grady is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, we were like members of a secret club – all we needed was a secret handshake too! All the squirrel lovers here in Lincoln Park will be shaking in their boots if Meijer runs out of peanuts again. I can’t imagine people were serving whole peanuts at Christmas time? Grady is a real cutie and he seems to know how to look irresistible to glean more peanuts, so he’s cute and smart too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Peanut Lady”………………………………..there’s someone else just like you who loves to feed the park critters!!!!………………………………….I enjoyed reading your blog tonight

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – Yes, I love those little squirrels as you know from when we walked together sometimes and you’d see them scurrying over for peanuts. That woman was nice – it was so funny to discover another soul who enjoys her squirrels as much as me and to compare notes.

      Like

  10. Tazzie says:

    oh how delightful. We dont have them here but I hope to meet some one day. peanut butter and cracker, i imagine they would have a bit of salt in them too. so your salted brushed off nuts would be ok..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I wish you had them too – where do you live? I have some fellow bloggers who also had not seen squirrels until reading this blog. They are sweet and their antics when peanuts are involved will give you a smile, that’s for sure. I don’t have any pets, but love animals, so they are like pets to me. I try to cut down on sodium too, so I eat the Triscuits with sea salt and the low-sodium Jif peanuts butter – to me, both these items taste as good as the regular salted varieties. It seems to me that everything you eat has sodium in it – a slice of bread, a glass of milk – just so amazing, so that is a low-salt treat and enjoyable as there is some crunch to it too. I have been using non-salted peanuts for years and never bought the other variety … I could not believe the massive puffs of salt when I poured out some peanuts for them. Wow! I even tried shaking some of it off. I also am mindful of what do they do this time of year to drink and quench their thirst? We’ve had some cold weather so the Creek nearby is frozen and we just recently got snow so no snow to eat. I feel for all the critters who must endure the harsh Michigan Winters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tazzie says:

        I live in Tasmania island state of Australia. I look out for the animals insects and birds about my place too.Ensuring water available here for them it ihas been very hot at imes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is very kind of you Tazzie – seeing animals and birds fending for themselves, especially with all the wacky weather we have here anymore, is heart wrenching sometimes. I have seen photos of the Australian wildfires where humans gave koala bears water from their water bottle – it breaks your heart. I have heard that many of the species of birds and animals in Australia will be wiped out from the fires – wildfires are so terrible.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael says:

    I heard about squirrel appreciation day on the radio this mornign! Surely no one appreciates them like you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy squirrel day! I didn’t know there was such a thing. I’m especially fond of the grey squirrels. We have several that clean up under the bird feeders. One peeked into the patio door yesterday. Great squirrel pictures Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – what a cute little “holiday” to honor our furry friends and I think I first heard of it last year. I really like the grey squirrels too, and I never saw them, nor the black squirrels, around here until the last 7-8 years or so. It was just the Fox squirrels before. In Canada, in the area I grew up, not far from Toronto, we just had the black squirrels only in parks and residential areas. Once they are comfortable with you, they lose their shyness, like yours peeking in the patio door. Grady has gotten friendly this year too – even the small squirrels at the Park overcome their reluctance to come right up to me, in favor of peanuts. They always hung back and waited until I walked away – poor things are so hungry and the weather was bad so I’d not been there since Friday morning … I’m sure they were starving, though one walker was there the day before, but he just walks one mile (one loop only) and they don’t always come out the first time around – they did yesterday … I got halfway through the walking loop and they all came out at once. Glad you liked the photos Sabine – I took many yesterday and it was gray out so hopefully the snow helped brighten up the photos; I’ve not looked at them yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your harsh winters must be hard for both people and critters! I won’t complain about our endless rain. The squirrels in my garden are cautious when I’m outside and I like it that way. I sprinkle a few seeds and nuts around for them and I appreciate them cleaning food off the ground. It’s a win-win!

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, the Winter gets tiresome and even when our Winters were much more normal than they are not, I have to say that by mid-February I thought Winter would never end. Unfortunately we are only 1/3 through Winter, and as mild as it’s been, it seems like it will last forever. They had predicted a very brutally cold and snowy Winter and on social media weather information sites, people who like the “real Winter” are complaining and calling out the forecasters for being wrong. The forecasters (several different sites) reply that Winter is not over yet. At least we humans can bundle up, and since I took the bus for decades, I have a lot of outerwear warm clothes to keep me warm … if it was just cold weather, I’d be fine, but we have had a lot of sleet and freezing rain. I understand right now, the roads are treacherous once again, and we’ve had that scenario about a dozen times since Fall. I am so glad I have no commute by bus anymore … buses were always late on days like this. When I had the garden out back, before I lost all of my butterfly garden plants and flowers from the 2013-2014 Polar Vortex, I was not as enamored with the squirrels because I fed them all Fall through Spring, just as I did the birds, so they continued to come around and bury their peanuts or what they foraged from me or others – they would dig up plants occasionally as well and got too friendly, trying to get into the house.

        Like

  13. Eliza says:

    Loved this!! I love how the squirrels are so tame by you – well a good number of them. And now you’ve more treats for them 🙂 I hope you meet this woman again …
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Linda, your pictures are absolutely adorable! My favourite one is of the ‘pooped’ squirrel! Thank you for the smiles and yes, I’m all for Squirrel Appreciation Day! Have a beautiful weekend. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Selina – I really like squirrels and a lot of my posts are about my interactions with the squirrels at the Park. As a matter of fact, I went there the other day after the big snow and took a lot of pictures, so today’s post which I will publish later, and another post maybe Monday or Tuesday, is going to have some of those same squirrels. The one gray squirrel who comes to the house which I named Gray should watch himself … I want to pick that little squirrel up and bring him into the house with me. 🙂

      Like

  15. Happy Squirrel Day Linda! Check out my Saturday post you are in it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You sound the expert in and the lead fan for squirrel appreciation day Linda 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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