Nuttin’ Honeys.

My furry, peanut-eating pals at the Park have muddy paws these days. That’s because they have been digging holes fast and furiously to bury their peanuts ever since we experienced a chilly spell that lasted about ten days the tail end of August. It was right around that time we humans shivered (without even having the A/C cranked up) and the weather folks made their initial predictions about our upcoming La Niña Winter i.e. lots of precipitation, maybe rain … maybe snow. Ugh.

And, even though it was the 5th hottest Summer on record for Michigan, that chilly week or so set off a roller coaster ride of hot and cold temps ever since. The weather’s been downright weird. “Blame it on climate change” the learned experts say. So, stats, charts and jet streams tell us a rough Winter is in store, but I could have told you that because that same week in August, the squirrels began planning ahead too. I’d toss down some peanuts and before a single one was enjoyed, off each one of my furry pals went to bury some of this cache. I remarked on it to Arnie, the other walker at the Park who feeds the squirrels and he noticed it too.

This time of year, now that berries, pine nuts and walnuts have either been savored or buried by my furry friends, they now rely on me more than ever for food. Even the Blue Jays are a little needier than usual, scamming as many peanuts as they can get away with from the squirrels.

But sometimes the squirrels and Jays call a truce and even “break bread” together as that expression goes and you will see below.

Meanwhile, I heard these comments at the Park recently:

“Is that peanuts I smell? Yay, the Peanut Lady’s here!”

“We were starving – what took you so long to get here Linda?”

“Yes I’ll pose any way for peanuts – what do you think is my best side?”

“We take as many peanuts as we can fit in our mouths and paws ‘cuz we don’t have big cheeks like our cousins the chipmunks after all! Watch us carry off one, two, three – maybe even four nuts at a time – quite a feat, don’t you think?”

“The Blue Jays are mean and sneaky! They stake us out …

then swoop and swipe!”

“Linda says we have to share our treats, so we guess we’re okay with splitting our peanuts with the Jays, as long as they don’t steal too many!”

“There will be lean times when it snows or is icy and Linda can’t visit us … that’s why we bury some of our peanuts closer. After all, who can dig through a foot of icy snow to retrieve one lousy peanut? So, we’ve taken to hiding them near the path to find them easier. Linda says it is a dumb idea. What do YOU think?”

“Soon we will all look like little Butterballs from peanuts and the extra layer of fat and heavier fur we’ll get for Winter. Hee hee … we’ll look nearly as fat as you humans do with your Quarantine 15 … only cuter.”

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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47 Responses to Nuttin’ Honeys.

  1. Sandra J says:

    What a wonderful group of photos, I love it when you get a shot with the squirrels looking right at you. A day in the life of our furry friends and a couple of feather friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra … it was a nice quiet Saturday morning, so quiet I could hear the peanuts as they fell onto the path and the squirrels and Jays cracking them open. That one Jay gave lots of calls to its friends that peanuts were available, but no other Jays arrived, so more for him/her. I like when they look right at me too – so darn cute.

      Like

  2. Swoop and swipe! Love it! Your photos are always gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Blue jay antics swoop and swipe! All those sweet squirrel faces so perfectly captured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      The squirrels in this park sure know how to work a crowd Kim, though there are only a few of us who feed them now. I watch those Jays who do not miss anything that goes on in this park, especially at the one-mile loop where all the critters hang out. The Jays flit from the tree to path and back to the tree in about 10 seconds’ time. Then the squirrels look up like “what just happened here?” Thus “swoop and swipe” describes them to a T. I’m glad you like the photos – I swear they feel the need to pose for their peanuts. 🙂

      Like

  4. Oh my goodness, your squirrels are beyond adorable! Love the pretty blue jays, too. We used to feed peanuts to both of these, too, on our balcony, but things got out of hand so we stopped. Maybe we should find a spot far away from the condo complex so we could enjoy watching their antics again. I agree with you, I don’t think hiding the peanuts near the path is a very good strategy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you like the “regulars” on the path at Council Point Park Barbara. The antics of both the squirrels and the Jays, who are ever-watchful of the peanut goin’s-on on the path, is a delight to watch. This was on a quiet Saturday morning and I was the only one on the path and hung out with them over the course of 20 minutes or so. The past few years I was feeding peanuts to five squirrels and two Cardinals and two Jays at the house. There were two gray squirrels, two black squirrels and two Fox squirrels. I felt like it was Noah’s Ark as they all came in pairs. The two gray squirrels were so cute – I named one Grady and soon he brought his mate – I could not tell them apart at a glance and they both begged incessantly. I’d feed them before I left on my walk, came home, begging again … if I drove I had to give them more peanuts as I was afraid they’d run in front of the car as I drove into the garage. I’d put the car in the garage and walk out to see Grady or his pal on the porch waiting for me. The Jays and Cardinals waited in the trees – I loved feeding them, then a Cooper’s Hawk started stalking them and I’ve not seen any of the squirrels since the Spring. I feel sick about it – I never knew about the hawk until my neighbor said he saw it in the tree across the street … too late then. I put the peanuts in a basket near a bush for that very reason, so they had a place to hide in the shrubs, but they often pulled the peanuts out and sat on the porch to eat them. I won’t feed any critters at the house now – last Friday, a Cooper’s Hawk went after one of the black squirrels at the Park. He got away thankfully.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s too bad about the hawk preying on your squirrels. Nature can be as brutal as it is beautiful. Once we had a barred owl hanging around, probably after our songbirds. Like you, we’re not feeding any squirrels or birds at home anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I have felt badly since Spring because I interacted with all of them – it was a treat for me to go outside and see them all during the Winter months. The Cardinals are a pair and have lived in the barberry bush for years – I have not seen them lately and hope they were spared. I won’t go back to feeding any of them near the house now. I do feed squirrels in the neighborhood as I’m walking along – some come over to see me as they are used to seeing me walk that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael says:

    My word they’re looking plump.n well fed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the jay and squirrel sharing. We have a lot of jays in our yard and they mingle peacefully (if sometimes noisily) with our smaller song birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I do see the Jays and squirrels eating together peacefully and the Blue Jays are so quick – they go from the tree to the ground and back in about 10 seconds. The squirrels sometimes whirl around like “what just happened here?” I went grocery shopping on Saturday and I’ve been shopping for pantry items for Winter to stock up. Peanuts were on my list and once again no peanuts at my store. Luckily I get some every time I go to the grocery store. I’m reluctant to order them from Wild Birds Unlimited in the larger 7-pound bags because the last time, the bags, not the peanuts, had moth larvae … had to buy moth traps! I may have to order from Amazon if Meijer doesn’t have them – I went through this last year too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My last bag of sunflower seeds had a lot of dirt or something in it. Fortunately the birds didn’t mind and no moths.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am furious about the moths – I think after six months, they are finally under control. They were fine inside the bag. Looking at Amazon’s comments for these peanuts, people complain that the peanuts are broken, not as large and shipping is pricey. The first two criteria would be the Seller’s fault I would think, though why would they sell an inferior product to Amazon and lose customers? People say they are nothing like the peanuts purchased in grocery stores. I have to make a decision soon. I don’t want salted for their sake or because I often use the camera around them and don’t want salt on the camera/lens.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If they are for squirrels does it matter if they are smaller? My birds except for the jays have not been eating my sunflower seeds so I have to rethink this. It may have mold on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        No, they can be smaller. I looked on Chewy and they were as expensive as people peanuts. The Wild Birds Unlimited peanuts were clean, salt-free but much smaller. The Jays often pick through the peanuts, picking them up and shaking them, then picking another one, not necessarily larger than the first. I understand they can tell the freshness of the peanut somehow and also the weight without cracking it open. I bought several suet cakes last year to leave at the Park over the Winter months. I left them in the original dish but chopped it up first for easy access. One dish was untouched. I looked closer the next day and there was some type of bug and fine spiderwebs (maybe mites) … I didn’t see it when I took a knife and loosened it, but they rejected it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have learned that too. I don’t buy niger seed in large amounts because they so rancid easily. The birds won’t touch them. Also if they are in the feeder during too many rains, there will be mold. My last bag of sunflower seed had some powdery white stuff. I’m thinking mold and no one except the jays are eating it. Today I’m going to toss it all out. Twenty pounds of seed out the window! I had it stored in the garage all summer and it was just too hot and humid.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m betting those birds can smell bad seeds, before they see or taste them. When I saw the Jay pass over that peanut and I saw nothing wrong with it that it should be rejected, I had to wonder. That’s a shame – all that seed gone to waste!

        Like

  7. Ally Bean says:

    I like all your photos and the story to go with. The last squirrel guy looks like he doubts your motives with the peanuts. Inquiring squirrel minds, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Ally. The squirrels are very cute and shameless about begging, especially this time of year and the Jays call out to one another to come steal the peanuts on the pathway. This time the Jay called – no one arrived, so all the more for him/her. The squirrels do give me that look, like “is this a quid pro quo of some type … what do you want from me?”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ruthsoaper says:

    People can learn a lot from them. Are you stocked up for winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes indeed Ruth and funny you ask me about being stocked up. You remembered me mentioning that I do stock up on pantry items every Fall and this year I added even more shelf-stable items to not have to go to the store during the Winter, not just for the weather, but also the pandemic and our rising cases. So, I finished up this last Saturday and Meijer was totally out of one item – peanuts!!! Good thing I get peanuts every time I go to the store as I used up the ones I got in the Spring from my former HVAC guy who owns a bird feed store now. So hopefully Meijer gets them in stock or I’ll have to order online again. I can’t let my little buddies down!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah ODell says:

    These are beautiful photos! I just love seeing the black one. We don’t have those here. We have mostly grey and fox squirrels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Those black ones are very cute Sarah. When I lived in Canada, we only had the black squirrels at the time and when we moved to the States, I was surprised to see the large Fox squirrels. The gray squirrels we have only had for about ten years now – they are cute too. The black and gray squirrels are very skittish though. My favorite picture was that black squirrel trying to take four peanuts “to go” … how was he going to run with peanuts in his paws? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rebecca says:

    Cute squirrel photos! Looks like they are well stocked for the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OMG these are the funniest pictures Linda! You crack me up and should have been a comedian…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked them Diane – that was a peaceful morning at the Park watching those squirrels and Jays and that one black squirrel stuffing his face with peanuts and trying to carry them off, just made me laugh out loud. I was going to caption each one and decided to write a group dialogue instead. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sartenada says:

    Hello Linda.

    I still admire your photos! You could make a photo book about squirrels.

    Have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Joni says:

    That gray squirrel up in the tree is very photogenic…..posed just so! Nice pictures of the jays too! I think we’re in for a bad winter – snow out on the prairies tonight, but we are in for a mild few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought he was very photogenic too Joni – turning this way and that and sometimes I know what I’m going to do with them in a post while watching them and taking the pictures. Those gray squirrels are so cute … all fuzzy and sometimes you feel like you could pick them up and pet them like a puppy or kitten. They are very skittish like the black squirrels though. They are talking about this La Nina Winter with all the precipitation, but now, in the last week have said it may not be brutally cold, just lots of precip. We are having more snow in the Upper Peninsula again tonight. Too early for all the snow. I wish we could fast forward to April. We will be in the 70s Friday! Then a storm in the afternoon and very cold on Saturday! Crazy weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great pictures, Linda!! This is just a wonderful post. Just a thought about birdseed and peanuts. If you put them in the freezer for a few days any moths and other annoying insects will die. That way you won’t have to set traps and/or have your seed go bad. I’ve had a few bags where after coming home I discovered insects in them. Very annoying, but the freezer takes care of it. If you have room just leave them in there altogether until you use them. Plus they’ll be defrosted by the time you get to the park!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I didn’t know that Sabine. I had problems getting peanuts last year at Meijer (grocery store) and I get Hampton Farms people peanuts. The unsalted jumbo ones are good for the critters and I don’t get salt on my hands with the camera. They never had them and then I was almost out and didn’t want to go to the store in April, so ordered them from Wild Birds Unlimited … there had to have been moth larvae on the bags, though the bags were 7 pounds apiece with a handle, zip closure once you opened them – clean, etc. but those moths. I went downstairs to do laundry and these tiny moths were flying around. That is good to know – the squirrels eat them off the snowy/icy path in the Winter. I go on weekends later in the day hoping the sun will melt the ice as they don’t always plow. Sometimes I end up putting peanuts in places that were footprints that hardened. Thank you for the tip!

      Like

  15. If you go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/megookin/35495523016/in/dateposted-public/
    You will see the best squirrel photo I ever captured. I was truly amazed at his talent! The black squirrels you captured I have only seen in Michigan and no where else. They are very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This is a great shot Mark – thank you for sending it to me. This squirrel defies gravity here by hanging by his back feet. Those claws sure are sharp to hang upside down like that. My neighbor had a gazebo on her back deck. It was wrought iron and a canvas top. She hung various bird feeders along the wrought iron bars. My mom and I would watch out our side window as the squirrels would slide along on their bellies and reach down with one front paw and pull the feeders up to scoop out the seeds with their paws. They went methodically from feeder to feeder until they emptied them. The black squirrels are very cute, same size as the gray squirrels but very skittish. That last black squirrel was trying to take four peanuts “to go” – made me smile. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. bekitschig says:

    Aww, I’m havign a cute meltdown …

    Liked by 1 person

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