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.
As mentioned, the walnuts were the primo prize. These are a few of my favorite shots.
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.
Peanuts were a safe bet and could be taken “to go” so they became #2 in this feeding frenzy.
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.
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.