Season’s Eatings!!

Today’s post was originally intended to be a Wordless Wednesday giggle about sharing the love with my furry and feathered friends. But instead, it morphed into a regular post, thanks to two enterprising Eastern Gray Squirrels, who made it their business to eat or hide a baker’s dozen of whole walnuts all on their very own.

So that feat begs the question: “where were all the other walnut eaters?” Walnuts are always a big draw for the squirrels and, admittedly, it was not the prettiest of mornings, cold and gray – so perhaps the others remained tucked in their respective nests? The photos below may look like it’s just one squirrel, but I assure you it was a piggy PAIR of furry friends that showed up, took inventory of the goodies, then swiveled their heads around searching for other treat eaters and discovered nary a one. So, as I stood there, camera in hand, taking in the scene, I imagined the gears clicking in their respective tiny heads … “woo hoo, no one’s here, just us … so let’s go for it!”

And so they did. The pair scurried back and forth, alternately noshing, burying or otherwise hauling their prized walnuts away, perhaps for the family, or maybe a snack later.

You all know humans who hog the goodies, whether it’s a tray of cookies, or chips and dip, skillfully positioning themself in a corner where they may feast gorge to their heart’s desire. We had someone at the law firm years ago who fit that very description. “E” was always the first on the scene to stake a claim (many claims) on whatever eats, treats or sweets were laid out on the kitchen table, especially around the holidays, when employees baked and brought in treats galore to share with coworkers. Yep, “E” had the audacity to feast, plus grab a napkin and stuff his pockets for later. He’d stake out my office and when I left it, he ran over to the candy dishes of chocolates I always put out at any of the holidays throughout the year. I’d hear about it from others and besides, there were telltale signs like empty wrappers on the floor, or on my desk … even thrown into the candy dish! Bad etiquette there for sure! Sometimes “E” would be in such a hurry, he dropped foil-wrapped chocolates on the carpet … nice, real nice. So this duo kinda reminded me of “E” and his antics.

Of course during this great walnut heist, there was the occasional appreciative sniff of a cranberry, or a pecan or almond, but those were second-string treats to be enjoyed later, kind of like dessert.

“Hmm – what’s this? I’ll investigate later.”

As mentioned, the walnuts were the primo prize. These are a few of my favorite shots.

“Oh, there’s two walnuts left – how did I miss ’em before?”
“Off I go to bury this one for Christmas Day.”
“I don’t need no stinkin’ nutcracker to eat walnuts, just my two front teeth!”

Next was the smorgasbord of nuts to nosh on. There was a pause to glance at the array of goodies, including the birdseed bells and suet; those treats were for the Jays, Cardinals and if Rex, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker happened by.

Stepping in the suet is bad form, akin to double dippin’ your chip.
“I dunno, but this seed bell piques my interest … peanuts first though.”

Peanuts were a safe bet and could be taken “to go” so they became #2 in this feeding frenzy.

[Sniff, sniff] … “I want the freshest and biggest ones!”
“Peanuts rule!”
“I’m gonna bury a few for when Linda doesn’t show up.”
“I love peanuts but I’m getting full. Burp!”

All this munchkin mischief took place at the Safe Haven Tree, so named for the weeping branches tickling the ground that surround the trunk like a natural fortress. Those rigid tree branches help keep predators like swooping hawks at bay. But, I also put treats under the pavilion area on a picnic table, and, by the time I left on this particular day as snowflakes began a’flyin’, the goodies remained untouched. I’m pretty sure these gray squirrels checked this location out too.

Treats and trail mix waiting to be claimed by hungry critters.
Goodies galore – who will get them after I leave?

I intended to return the following day (Sunday) and inspect and photograph what remained of the goodies, but Mother Nature interceded with freezing rain, so I passed on that excursion. By the time I returned to Council Point Park on Monday morning, the squirrels had decimated the set-up and very little remained of these holiday treats, just a few inverted suet dishes which I assume were not up to snuff with the squirrels’ palate. The birds would not be strong enough to flip the suet dishes, so I had to do so.

I hope you are similarly feasting on holiday treats, maybe more calorie laden than these.

Today’s goodies.

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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49 Responses to Season’s Eatings!!

  1. Sandra J says:

    It is like a thanksgiving meal for them. A wonderful treat for the colder days. I love how they don’t just eat everything and bury some of it for later. I don’t know how they find them again but it must work for them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved your title and the story that followed. The squirrels are so cute. I saw an unusually large squirrel running down the fence highway yesterday with an acorn in his mouth. Thought of you and how you would have named him and written stories about him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – glad you liked the title. These gray squirrels are so cute – they are timid like the black squirrels, occasionally being bold by stationing themselves along the path, then you approach them and they scurry up a tree and peek around to see when you’re gone. I can’t get them to take peanuts from my fingers like the Fox squirrels – they are not quite ready for that. I had a gray squirrel at the Park I called “Fluff” and thought it was him, but when the two showed up, that tripped me up then!

      Like

  3. Anne says:

    What a delightful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Anne – next Monday I’m going to have a post about one of my favorite Park squirrels – he has been around for a while and he is very chubby now. I was hoping to get a few shots to show how the squirrels gain weight from their extra fat layer and heavier fur for Winter and was lucky to get some photos of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. they are going to be so BIG that they won’t fit back into their nests! A fat squirrel is a happy squirrel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. peggy says:

    Very cute and well fed squirrels. Our fox squirrels love nuts, apples and strawberries. A very nice post Linda. I had a brother who was a pig just like E. He was always eating from the desert area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Peggy. I never tried strawberries with the squirrels at the Park, so will have to do that next year when they are in season for a special treat. I usually give them apples in the Fall, when the stores have deals on them, but the last two years I hesitated doing it due to the hawks as they stay in one place too long and become a target for the hawk. I have some posts showing the squirrels taking their “apple” to go and having a difficult time doing so as they try to roll it or grab it with their teeth. Yes, I have known people like that in my lifetime too – why?

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        The reason I know squirrels like strawberries is because they raid my strawberry row in the garden every year. You can cut the aplles into pieaces, which allows the squirrels to grab them in their mouths and run with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Aah – I see now Peggy. I was thinking you were buying them for them. I used to give them mini pumpkins around Halloween and take photos. They would drag them off the path and chomp on them. In those days there were no hawks circling overhead like now. I guess I should cut some apples for them next year and maybe dip the ends in peanut butter to treat them. A high school buddy lives in North Carolina and liked cherry tomatoes and grew them in containers in her yard … the squirrels would pull them off the vine and eat them. So she painted Tabasco sauce on each cherry tomato before it ripened to deter them – they ate them anyway. She moved them up to her back deck – they still ate them, so she just gave up altogether.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Yes, we lost cherry tomatoes to squirrels too. It is surprising what some of the wild critters will eat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The first year we lived here my father planted regular tomato plants as one side of the house was very sunny. My mom loved tomatoes and had high expectations. The birds would peck at them and the squirrels took a few bites, then tossed them away. We went for a ride in the country to visit the farm stands instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t get as many squirrels at my new house as I did at my old one. Maybe the word hasn’t gotten out yet or there is so much natural food available they don’t need my offerings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      The squirrels are lucky there is that much natural grub out there in your neighborhood Kate. I see them foraging in ours, but find nothing (except telephone wires sometimes). We have lots of pine trees at the Park, so they gnaw on pine nuts and drop the cones all over.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ally Bean says:

    Squirrels are cute and you are a good soul for feeding them. While they may prefer peanuts, the seed bell makes for a better photo. Adds a touch of whimsy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they are cute Ally, especially the gray ones, though they’re a bit timid. I thought they’d go for the seed bell while I was there – after everything disappeared first I guess. I pass a house on my walk and they put out a large bird feeder filled with regular birdseed and a squirrel is maneuvering around and hanging upside down to get at the seed every day. It looks funny and I should take a photo.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Margy says:

    Squirrels never lived in our woods until a few years ago. I eye them cautiously because I know the damage they can cause. A few days ago I saw that potential as one squirrel skittered through my living room. I managed to get it outside again. A few days later another one, or maybe the same one, was back in the house again. This time it knocked china figures off a shelf, breaking them beyond repair.
    Hubby has spent the better part of the last few days trying to find out how they are getting in. (We have a 40 year old house that wasn’t designed with squirrels in mind, I guess.) I’m vacuuming up a storm, hoping to limit the possibility of the fleas or mites the squirrels may have brought in…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s terrible Margy. My grandmother had squirrels in her attic years ago and had to get an exterminator in. They were running back and forth and she lived on a street where the houses were attached. Neighbor worried about bugs – if one house got them, they all did. I have issues with the squirrels gnawing on the telephone wires and moisture gets in and I lose phone service … I have had AT&T out to my house four times already for this!

      Like

  9. Pam Lazos says:

    Boy they sure do love you, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    You are so good to your furry and feathered friends, Linda. At least they posed for some great shots as a thank you for the treats. At first, I thought the suet dishes were full of popcorn, but I guess that would be a no-no for the birds and squirrels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I do spoil them silly Laurie, especially this time of year and for holidays. My favorite photos have been with the Christmas tree and heart-shaped sugar cookies, but I know they aren’t nourishing, just good for an occasional treat. The birds will eat the suet, (the squirrels too), if I chop it up, which I did at the house before I carried it down to the Park. Then they nibble at it. I got some of the same treats for a Valentine’s Day shoot. It might be snowy by then and look wintry – hard to tell with our wacky weather.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Maybe you will get some more woodpeckers at the suet. Woodpeckers are in the majority when I put suet out – mostly red bellies, hairies, downies, and flickers. Occasionally a yellow-bellied sapsucker shows up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I was hoping that would happen Laurie. I saw a Red-Bellied last week … I put peanuts and sunflower seeds in three places in the Park, so the critters know where to look. Last week a woodpecker flew down to get a peanut. I’ve got some more suet for Winter to put out there. I chopped it up for them before I put it out as I’ve noticed in the past, they won’t make the effort otherwise. (Either lazy or spoiled.) We have a Flicker at the Park – I hear it, but never see it – hopefully will one day.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Prior... says:

    Imagining a Christmas Day walnut was fun’
    Also – the do have great teeth for nuts so no cracker needed.

    And your former colleague “E” sounds like he loved sweets – wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they love walnuts – I got some more for in the Winter, for a Valentine’s Day shoot. Squirrel’s teeth grow 6 inches a year, so they constantly have to gnaw on things to wear them down. “E” was always like that – the more food and treats around, the more for him. We had a company move in the building that did copying and binding and so we used their services a lot. So we each got glass candy jars with the company name on it – this was staff, paralegals and attorneys – anyone who used their services. So our “rep” would come in once a week with a box with M&Ms, Skittles and jelly beans and fill our dishes with our choice. It was so bad that people would keep their candy in their desk drawers and lock it up at night as he thought nothing of going through desk drawers. Not nice at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yikes! You sure are giving them enough!!!
    Hoping you have a great Christmas and a healthy New Year, Linda! 🎅🤶

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Well it was SUPPOSED to be for the birds (Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees and Red-Bellied Woodpecker) too, but I think it was misappropriated by these two. They were savvy as it was cold and gray and no other critters were out – they were not slackers, that’s for sure! I have another bounty to give them mid-Winter. Same to you Tom – stay healthy and safe as this newest variant soars.

      Like

  13. clarejk2014 says:

    What an enjoyable feast! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a lucky day those squirrels had! 🎄 You’re very generous to share so many treats, Linda, and I suspect your squirrel and bird friends are far more appreciative than the rude coworker you had to put up with years ago. These little guys are so adorable that it would be fun to cuddle them, although I suspect those nut-cracking teeth wouldn’t feel good if they were inclined to take a bite out of one’s fingers. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes Barbara – they really like their Christmas treats. Too bad they didn’t share them with all the others (of which there are a lot) and wouldn’t you know it started to flurry hard that day so I didn’t stay as I was hoping for some bird pictures! I got a Junco and a Cardinal but not close up. Yes, they are appreciative (more so than the coworker). Those gray squirrels are so fluffy looking that you want to cuddle them. I am able to feed the Fox squirrels by holding a peanut between my fingers, but not the smaller squirrels who are very skittish and give me wide berth when I put some peanuts down. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Joni says:

    You are really spoiling those squirrels Linda – what a Christmas spread!

    Liked by 1 person

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