Awaiting The Great Pumpkin and/or Peanutty Treats.

I threw off the blanket, even though I was ready to burrow back down for a few more minutes of snooze time. Then I remembered I had a mission, so I swung my legs over the side of the bed, stepped into my fuzzy slippers and headed down the hall.

The sweet smell of icing and a tantalizing peanutty aroma greeted my nose and, after I turned on the kitchen light, I saw 33 pairs of eyes staring at me.

Today would be a meet-n-greet to treat the ghouls and goblins at the Park.

As I sipped my coffee, using my index finger, I tapped lightly on some of the ghost cookies I made last night for the Halloween shoot with my furry friends. I was concerned the eyes, er … icing had thoroughly dried, so the cookies could be packed to go.

Hmm – I saw a few of the cookies had unintended beauty marks on them.

I mumbled to myself “I had better try one cookie to ensure it tastes good – after all, I wouldn’t want to harm any of my furry friends.” Well, that reasoning led to another cookie for good measure, then another, as I decided to forego my usual bowl of oatmeal and indulge in Nutter Butter Double Nutty cookies instead. Yep, I deemed them “safe” (and yummy) to feed to the squirrels.

I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures before boxing up the treats, then got ready to leave as soon as it was light outside. I hesitated, thinking aloud “so, do I keep the unadorned cookies for me or take them along for the squirrels who are purists and disdain ghosts?” I kept them for a bad day.

I pulled into my usual parking place at Council Point Park, hopped out, then with a flourish, I shook the sheet to eliminate any static and swiftly slipped it over my head, positioning the makeshift eye holes to match my eyes. Perfect! To avoid a trip-and-fall along the trail, I had trimmed a sizable length off the bottom, thus exposing my walking shoes. “Well, Parker will know me for sure – he’ll recognize those shoes, maybe even his own scent” I thought as I reached over and grabbed the box from the front seat. I hooked a bag containing peanuts and sunflower seeds over my shoulder and under the sheet, so I could deal with the cookies first. With the tip of my shoe, I nudged the door shut, clicked the remote and pocketed the keys in one fell swoop, then proceeded to my first stop – the pavilion picnic tables.

If you’ve never seen how Parker sniffs my shoes and then puts his paws on the toes, well here’s one of many photos I’ve taken of him doing this.

Without missing a beat, Parker scampered over to scope out me and/or the treats.

As he is fond of doing, my favorite squirrel buddy Parker first waylaid me in the parking lot – yep, it’s all about him sometimes. He is the Park Town Crier when Linda, a/k/a “The Peanut Lady” arrives. That is, after he takes care of Parker first, then it’s okay to alert the rest of the crowd to my arrival.

Parker, nose to the air like a bird dog, sniffed appreciatively and it didn’t take long before he zipped over to my side, no doubt lured by the wafting scent of the open bag of peanuts still under my sheet. He started dancing around my feet as I was lining up the ghost cookies on the picnic table and, after I set the box down on a nearby table, he jumped onto the picnic bench seat.

I glanced down to see a sad face, much like a dog’s pout as it watches you fixing yourself a tasty sandwich without offering him/her a bite.

I looked down at him and said “I’ll just be a few minutes honey – today’s our Halloween shoot and Linda needs to set up.”

“Cool – what did you bring us – mini Snickers bars?” he asked. (When it comes to food, Parker’s radar is always up and he never forgets a promise if it involves food. ‘Twas a pity my peanut pal was way too short to see the picnic table top.)

“Nope. It’s a surprise” I told him.

“Linda, by the way, my main squeeze Penelope said to tell you she’s gone gluten free, whatever that means.”

I whirled around and in a stern voice said “Parker, you can share your peanuts with Penelope – I’m not running a restaurant here for goodness sake!”

“Okay, you can give me extra peanuts for Penelope – I know I’m your favorite and if you hand over extra peanuts, I’ll pose extra nice like I did with my Valentine cookie a few years ago.”

He continued “… or my Christmas cookie – your blogger friends liked that pose too!”

“Parker, that’s blackmail. You can give YOUR peanuts to Penelope and have an extra ghost cookie.”

Without missing a beat, the little bugger said “no way – those are my peanuts – I’m not sharing!”

“But Penelope is your mate, the mother of your kits!” I said, championing Penelope’s cause … well, just because of the sisterhood and all.

Parker countered, saying “but I know your blogging friends think I’m the cutest squirrel with the most personality.” And then he added slyly“I’ll give you lots of bang for your buck for extra peanuts!”

Bartering with a squirrel – I had surely lost my mind!

Okay … it’s ‘go time’ – enjoy!

I had laid out the cookies, but NOT the peanuts nor seeds yet as they would go for the familiar and I’d be left tapping my toe waiting for them to investigate the cookies. I did flip one cookie upside down so they would recognize a Nutter Butter.

I fished my camera out of my pocket to take some photos just as several little buddies slowly approached the pavilion area.They were cautious, especially the smaller gray and black squirrels, peering over the table top, then creeping slowly along as if these strange beings should leap up from the table and attack them. Each brave squirrel approached, then backed off. They probably would take their cue from Parker.

Parker ran over, grabbed a cookie and began to nibble on it as you see below.

Soon he scooted away to bury it before I asked too much more of him.

A few minutes later, he returned for a second helping. I put a cookie on the pavilion floor, then he sniffed the cookie, grabbed it …

… then, still in a squirrelly snit, again he held his ghost cookie upside down as you see up top and below.

I laid out peanuts to get a few photos. Having seen Parker score a cookie, this little black squirrel approached the treats apprehensively and decided peanuts were safer than that ol’ ghost cookie.

Eventually, curiosity got the better of this little squirrel, so he/she crept across the table to grab a creepy-looking ghost cookie.

Time to move along … there were other hungry mouths to feed.

I headed to the Safe Haven Tree, unfortunately not yet bare enough to get great pics of the munchin’ munchkins, but with our upcoming weather a tad erratic with the threat of a wintry mix on the way, it was best to stay ahead of Mother Nature’s moods. So I spread out ghost cookies, peanuts and seeds and paused for photos.

The cookies weren’t a hit right away and seeds, not peanuts, ruled. The cookies would be consumed after I was long gone.

Unfortunately to make these three stops, it’s a mile-long venture and by the time I’ve reached the third stop, there is always action at Stop #1 that I don’t want to miss – to get some fun shots, truly I needed a clone, or just had to be quick. At the third stop, I did not leave cookies … I wanted the squirrels (and birds) to grab a snack and not linger due to any hawks.

As mentioned before, I’ve learned over the years, that holding back peanuts and seeds guarantees my squirrelly friends will at least poke at their Nutter Butters, apples or pumpkins and take a few bites, albeit swiveling their heads to search for peanuts to take “to go” especially in Fall, as it’s all about munch one now, bury the rest. That didn’t work, so I gave in to get shots and had to be creative as you see below.

The cookie initially had no appeal …

… so I sweetened the pot with peanuts.

A black squirrel seized on that combo, not touching the cookie.

However, when I returned about a half-hour later, only crumbs remained and the leaf was flipped over.

I walked two or three miles getting these photos for this Halloween post. Now for your treat … click here for my Halloween wish for you!

Posted in Halloween, holiday, Squirrels | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments

Primal scream therapy – I feel better already! #Wordless Wednesday #Juvenile Ring-billed Seagull

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #WildlifeWednesday, #Wordless Wednesday, birds, nature, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , , | 59 Comments

The Great Escape.

You’ve probably heard of the most-famous escape artist of all time, Harry “Handcuff” Houdini. Up until his death here in Detroit on Halloween 1926, he had never encountered an escape challenge which he did not overcome. “The Great Houdini” as he was known, dazzled audiences for 30 years. But surprisingly, this master escape artist did not die as a result of a stunt that backfired, but instead lost his life due to a ruptured appendix, after someone unexpectedly punched him in the gut while he was reclining on a sofa a few days earlier.

I was thinking of Harry Houdini as I walked back to my car, after a fairly short trip to Heritage Park, on a very warm afternoon, September 17th. There will be more written about that trek, which was more of an afterthought, as I merely wanted to pop into the Heritage Park Petting Farm to see if those large domestic ducks, Maria and Benjamin, had found a new home.

You’ll be pleased to know that Your Roving Reporter did not have to twist anyone’s arm to learn the status of our friendly feathered friends because, after this incident below, I was told by a volunteer that no new domestic ducks had joined the Farm since Labor Day.

Now, how I came to be gleaning THAT info is the crux of this post, so please stay with me.

Blogging makes you smart.

Fellow blogger Rebecca had a post a few weeks earlier about three Guinea Fowl she encountered on a drive in the country. You can read Rebecca’s post here if you’d like. Although I have had a fun run of discovering new and unusual birds in 2022, I have never encountered this breed of bird, thus it was new to me. Rebecca’s photos showed a trio of rather rotund birds, with tiny heads and black-and-white plumage. Well, I was fascinated with Rebecca’s post and wondered if my wanderings might yield such a fun find one day.

Well, who knew only two weeks later I’d have some of my own Guinea Fowl to ooh and aah over?

Escape artists from the Petting Farm.

Heritage Park wasn’t really on my agenda that day, but I decided I’d try a final fling photographing the flowers at the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens which is on the fringe of Heritage Park, next to the Petting Farm. My game plan, while enroute to Heritage Park, was to stop at the Gardens before they started packing up their prized flowers to overwinter them offsite. As I stopped at the light to turn into the park, there were at least a dozen Turkey Buzzards cruising lazily overhead. I’ve only recently learned how to tell them apart from raptors like hawks or eagles: their wings are broad, tails are short and they tend to soar endlessly in circles, with a bit of a wobble. I hoped there was not a large roadkill that they had gathered to feast on and I would have to pass – eww.

The puzzle about the circling Turkey Vultures was soon forgotten as I turned onto the main drive and saw something else that piqued my interest, i.e. four fat birds clustered together and pecking on the ground. They looked like Rebecca’s Guinea Fowl. “You’ve been out in the heat too long Linda” I told myself. I had to keep moving at 15 mph on this road, as cars were behind me, so I parked the car in a lot easily 3/4s of a mile away as it was a busy Saturday afternoon at this venue. I hightailed it back to where I’d spotted the birds.

Then this odd story unfolded ….

I quickly scanned the area where they had been, but didn’t see them right away. Hmm. Then I noticed a man walking close to them in a shallow ditch. I hustled over, camera at the ready and asked rather breathlessly “are these Guinea Fowl and are they your pets?” My rapid-fire questions seemed to amuse him and he laughed out loud. Those birds were really on the move, so we both kept up with them as he answered with a chuckle“no, they’re escape artists from the Petting Farm and I’m trying to herd them back before they are hit by a vehicle. I’ve left a few voicemails and no one has called me back yet.” The Petting Farm is quite a distance from where we were.

I told the gentleman I’d only been to the Petting Farm once for a “Christmas in July” event with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, but the reindeer was a no-show as it was a hot day. I told him I went to take pictures for my blog and although I’d walked around the Farm and inside the barn, I did not see Guinea Fowl. He told me he had been there as well and these birds were actually “Lavender Guinea Fowl” which he knew from the ID tags on their enclosure. Here are a few pictures of the birds who scurried to and fro, but usually all together – not great for taking pictures. But you can certainly see their unusual characteristics, especially in the last photo in this group where the sun indeed makes their feathers look more of a lavender color than the black-and-white plumage you see up close.

We chatted a bit more as we herded the birds toward the Farm and kept looking in the distance to see if someone would come to claim them. He was worried his car, that he hurriedly left at the side of the road, might be ticketed. I said “you’ll tell them why you parked there and they’ll be good with it, but I can herd the birds back – no problem.”

Just then we heard someone whistle and a young man appeared on the scene, walking toward us, while vigorously shaking a bag up and down and back and forth. We could see and hear the contents of this half bag of grain rattling with each shake. We laughed as all four birds beat a path to the young man shaking their “feed bag” … one more whistle and his charges ALL turned their backs on us as they followed the guy and their food.

My fellow herder and I then parted, he to rescue his vehicle and me to follow the flock and the young man to take pictures and inquire about Maria and Benjamin. I learned this young man was a Petting Farm volunteer because he loves animals. Safe and secure (as one can be with a fence as wide open as this one seen below with one Guinea Fowl peeking under the slats), the Great Escape was over.

These Lavender Guinea Fowl were moving faster than I was, so the photos, taken on the fly, are not stellar, but good enough to tell this story of their great escape. Are you wondering if they just meandered off or had a reason to escape? Well, there was a menagerie of wild animals visiting the Petting Farm for the “Wild Weekend” event and maybe they saw Bentley the Camel …

… or this big ol’ turtle …

… then they decided to just get the heck outta Dodge.

A few factoids about Lavender Guinea Fowl: they are a prized game bird known to be kept on domestic farms for their “watchdog” qualities and pest control habits (including ticks). Lavender Guinea Fowl are also kept as pets. You can read more about them by clicking here.

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Marsh Madness. #Wordless Wednesday #OMG, it’s Nessie!

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

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Cruisin’ on the Canal. Honk if you need to cross!

I did a recent post involving a conundrum called a “Goose Jam” and no, that is not something you slather on your English Muffin.

In that post, which can be found by clicking here, you learned how the Canada Geese and their offspring like to monopolize Elizabeth Park Drive, the one and only, one-way road that encircles this man-made island.

On July 31st, the day I visited, all the gangly looking goslings were now young geese, looking like mirror images of their parents, just a wee bit smaller. At any given time, when visiting this picturesque park, the geese are everywhere, congregating in and around the canal, on the grassy slopes and, of course, crossing the aforementioned road in an always indecisive and slow meander.

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy!

This heading is from the song “Convoy” by C.W. McCall. I used it because there was not only a gathering of the feathered clan at the canal, but those geese had formed a disorganized queue as they proceeded down the middle of the canal, much to the chagrin of the kayakers, who were enjoying a leisurely afternoon paddle away from the madd(en)ing crowd (humans that is), only to encounter a traffic jam of waterfowl on the waterway, when the geese similarly decided to have a leisurely afternoon paddle up and down and across the canal.

It was quite the sight to see, the old arched bridge in the background, a canal clogged with kayakers and geese, plus lots of Mallards too. I first photographed them from above, where I stood on the vehicle bridge …

… then I hurried down to ground level to walk near the canal shoreline to get more shots. There were geese everywhere!

I took a slew of shots and as a pair of kayakers approached, having negotiated a few twists and turns as the geese got a little too close, I shouted to ask them if they were worried about the bullheaded geese giving them the right of way and they answered with a resounding “yes we were!”

After the kayakers passed, the geese regrouped – so who could they bother now?

The humans seemed to be good natured about sharing the canal with their feathered friends, laughing as a group of mischievous geese, lined up beak to tail and crossed the canal right in front of them. The geese don’t yield and figure they have the right of way, just like when crossing the road.

Fall is fleeting ….

With Summer 2022 just a memory and Fall in full force, the weather folks have predicted a few snowflakes to mingle with the raindrops just about the time this post is publishing. Sigh – only 153 days until Spring!

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Now you see me … now you don’t! #Wordless Wednesday #Pied-billed Grebe

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #WildlifeWednesday, #Wordless Wednesday, birds, nature | Tagged , , , | 53 Comments

Roaming the Riverfront.

Back on January 22nd, on a snow-free, but frosty morning, as I layered up to head outside, I got a crazy notion that it might be fun to visit all the shoreline parks along the Detroit River. I knew the River was frozen over, so it might present some great photo ops with the waves frozen in place. I even had a name picked out for the trek’s blog post title: “Dilly-dallying along the Detroit River.”

Well, that was an idea best left in my head, because after this one-mile trek at Council Point Park, photographing my peanut-eating pals, along with a large orange cat that crouched on the ice nibbling on shad, I decided my fingers may not be up to that eight-mile long frozen foray.

So I tabled that idea ‘til Summer and six months later I got ‘er done.

Dingell Park – Ecorse, Michigan.

This time it was a warm and humid morning when I stood on the pavilion area at Dingell Park.

A chalk artist had left their mark under the pavilion.

The River was calm and fishermen baited their hooks and dropped their lines into the water.

It was peaceful and a perfect way to start the day.

While I could have walked to my next destination(s), I drove and parked as I intended to visit Bishop Park and a mile down the road, BASF Park.

Bishop Park – Wyandotte, Michigan.

The anglers were similarly lined up along the boardwalk, but also fishing from the pier. The seagulls were hanging out, perched on the boardwalk railing, hoping someone might share a bite of breakfast with them.

I was pleased to see Joanne on her morning walk. You’ll recall I wrote about this ageless, very spry walker last year. Now in her 90s, Joanne, who recently began using a rolling walker, gets her daily steps done along the waterfront, on a path that takes her from the senior apartments where she lives to Bishop Park. As she rolls along, she is all smiles, waving at everyone that crosses her path. I caught up with her and we chatted, then she was on her way again and so was I, as I left to walk through downtown Wyandotte to head to my next destination.

BASF Waterfront Park – Wyandotte, Michigan.

My next stop was at BASF Park, an 85-acre park dedicated in 1995 by chemical company BASF Corporation. This followed a clean-up of debris used in such heavy industrial businesses like shipbuilding and steelmaking.

It is always quiet at this park, except in Summer when Saturday regattas are held at the Wyandotte Boat Club. A nearby golf course is accessed from Biddle Avenue, so it is a pedestrian-only park.

I never see other walkers, just waddlers. There are a lot of Canada Geese roaming about, but there were no adult geese around that morning – they had evidently left their goslings to graze along the shoreline.

Next/last stop … Elizabeth Park – Trenton, Michigan.

The fourth park and third city in about three hours’ time – I was on a roll and no frosty fingers. What was I thinking back in January?

Elizabeth Park is one of my favorite county parks. On this beautiful day, there were more anglers lined up on the boardwalk, but no sign of the groundhog begging for treats.

It was a tad early and the pleasure boats were still moored in their respective boatwells.

The Detroit River, in the Downriver area where I stopped at these four parks, is approximately a half-mile wide, but the width varies, as much as up to three miles across. The River has an average depth of 35 feet. On any given day, you’ll see freighters, some close enough to see the freighter’s name, then you can track its whereabouts later on the website “Boat Nerd” – on this day, I saw several freighters. Freighters are a fun find on a river roam, but I’m partial to waterfowl as they’re more interesting.

It is not just freighters … on a beautiful day everyone loves to be out on the River.

As you likely know, the U.S. and Canada share an international border, the Detroit River, accessible by the Ambassador Bridge or via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. We can stand on the U.S. side and see what’s happening with our Canadian neighbors and every July, a spectacular fireworks show, launched from barges in the Detroit River, is part of the International Freedom Festival, an event where one million people gather at the Detroit and Windsor riverfronts.

Since our Canadian neighbors are celebrating Thanksgiving today and here in the U.S. we are celebrating Columbus Day, I thought it was a perfect time for a post about roaming along the Detroit River shoreline.

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Pondering life amongst the spider webs.  #Wordless Wednesday  #Juvenile European Starling

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

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Lending a helping hand.

It is said that every picture tells a story and the devastation left by Hurricane Ian’s wrath needs no words. Neighbors, friends, family and strangers are pulling together to help others pick up the pieces of their lives, if that’s even possible.

I heard a heart-warming story about how a contingent of local animal lovers, a/k/a the Michigan Humane Society Animal Search and Rescue Team, traveled to Lee County, Florida to employ their special skills in water and collapsed building disasters. They will help rescue pets who have become separated from their families. These folks took kennels, crates and supplies to set up temporary shelters to try and lessen the angst of the fur babies and their owners.

If that effort doesn’t give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, then perhaps today’s post will.

When you’re little and cute, you’ve got the world by the tail

or so it seems.

It was the Friday before Labor Day, September 2nd to be exact, when I trudged out the door. I use the word “trudge” as it was another stinkin’ hot and humid day and the weekend weather was forecast to be the same. I mused that it was the 11th anniversary of beginning my walking regimen, not only the calendar date, but coincidentally it was also the Friday preceding Labor Day. It was a stinkin’ hot day then too and I only walked one block … “baby steps” I told myself, thus eliminating any shin splints.

This year, in anticipation of the long holiday, I had been preoccupied with planning my weekend walking adventures, which were subsequently dashed after discovering my car was leaking oil. While my 2009 LaCrosse, with its meager mileage of just under 10,000 miles, was not leaking like the Exxon Valdez, I was concerned enough to stay close to home until I took the car in for service.

As mentioned in my previous post, “Dullsville” would describe my favorite nature nook most of the Summer, so I left the camera at home that morning, a decision I would regret a short time later.

Suddenly this ordinary walk morphed into this “tail” er … tale.

In the parking lot I met fellow walker Joanne who had already walked her miles. She told me about a huge eagle circling overhead the entire time she was walking. I suggested it was likely a hawk and said I worried about hawks snatching up squirrels and hoped they were savvy enough to dodge those predators.

I doled out peanuts and sunflower seeds at my first two stops and, after leaving the Safe Haven Tree, I returned to the path. I saw two young women walking toward me. One had something dark moving up and down her right arm. “It’s probably a kitten” I decided as I got closer.

Then I saw it was a tiny black squirrel shimmying up and down her bare arm.

Of course Your Roving Reporter had to get the scoop on this munchkin, all the while berating herself with a few choice words on why she had left her camera at home. This wasn’t the first time a photo op presented itself and I was sans camera.

I learned the two young women, whose names are Jennifer and Terra, walk every day at Council Point Park at various times, so we have never crossed paths before. They told me they had been on the perimeter path, then saw this cute critter in the grass under a tree, next to another baby squirrel, which unfortunately was dead. They assumed the two had fallen from their nest. Squirrels like to build their nests in very tall trees and this was not an especially tall tree …

… and we could not see a nest embedded in the leaves and branches, so we wondered if there were more babies up in the nest.

Although the baby squirrel was a little wobbly at first, it bopped along the perimeter path, as you see in this short video. Terra and Jennifer are speaking in the video.

After Jennifer picked up the baby squirrel, it started prowling up and down her arm and that is when I met them. We had no idea how old it was and Terra asked “is it okay to have a human touch the baby – would its Mama reject it?” My best guess was “maybe if it had no fur and its eyes were closed.” I told them in ten years of walking at this Park, I’d seen plenty of young squirrels, but no baby squirrels.

Terra picked up some peanuts from the ground and Jennifer smashed the shell between her fingers and offered the unshelled peanuts to the baby, but it showed no interest. I told them I had just put a lot of sunflower seeds out at the Safe Haven Tree and perhaps the seeds would appeal to it. Jennifer placed the baby under the tree, where other squirrels were already eating and we all decided it would be fine, Mom would come looking for her baby, or it would be “adopted” by the others. It appeared to be chomping on some sunflower seeds, so I told them with hawks about, it should stay safe here under the tree and not become a target for a hungry hawk.

Jennifer and Terra left and I cut my walk short to return home to grab the camera for some photos of the baby under the tree. These are some of my favorites.

While taking those photos, Henry, one of the regular walkers, stepped off the path to come talk to me. I gave him a synopsis of how this story unfolded thus far and he laughed and said “well, that’s easy – you like squirrels, so you take it home with you!” “Not gonna do that” I said while shaking my head, adding “I’ve got nowhere to keep a squirrel or a cage – no!” He said “I think you should do it – it was meant to be.” He said he had seen one large hawk go after three squirrels already. Yes, that made me worry for this defenseless baby.

In the above pictures, taken at close range, it would appear the baby squirrel was not that small; however, for perspective, see how tiny it is against this leaf …

… or with an adult squirrel close by, once again you see the contrast.

I told Henry about Jill the Squirrel, the internet sensation who tumbled out of a tree during Hurricane Isaac in 2012 and had been raised by humans since she was a baby. Jill is now ten years old and has her own Instagram account with 700,000 followers. “No way” he said as he whipped out his phone and spoke “Jill the Squirrel” into it and I watched him scrolling through some pictures, shaking his head, then he left to finish his walk.

After taking a slew of photos I left to go home to get ready for work. I resisted patting my petite furry friend on the head as it looked up at me and instead said “be good, stay safe and I’ll be back to visit tomorrow.”

Though I am adamant about no more pets in my life, I kept thinking about what Henry said the rest of the day. I felt badly for this orphaned baby and admit I kind of liked the notion of “A Girl and Her Squirrel Rebooted” but no way was I taking in an orphaned squirrel.

Flash forward 24 hours later.

About 8:30 Saturday morning I set out on the perimeter path, of course this time with my camera in tow. I was eager to see how the baby squirrel had fared. Ducking my head, I entered that sanctuary beneath the tree’s canopy and in the dim light could not find it anywhere. My heart sank. I doled out treats for the regulars, then crept back out into the bright sunlight. Jennifer and Terra arrived just then, saw me and hurried over. I gave them the news. Simultaneously they said “let’s check the tree” which we did and found this poor little soul, very weak and crouched in the grass.

Before they picked up the baby, I asked the girls to pose as I knew I would be writing a post.

[Terra on the left; Jennifer on the right.]

Jennifer reached down, picked the baby squirrel up and cradled it in her hands, while Terra petted it. That is the photo you see in the header image.

You can see the baby is almost motionless here in these two shots.

I asked if I could get any photos or videos they took yesterday.  Jennifer pulled up my Facebook profile on her phone, then sent me a friend request and the promise of photos and videos. 

We all agreed the baby squirrel looked weak and that Mom had not returned to carry her baby by the scruff of the neck back to the nest, likely as she was preyed upon by that big hawk the day before.  We now realized this little squirt likely was not weaned, so it didn’t eat any solid food, causing it to be so weak.  The girls decided to take the baby home and give it some milk and call a squirrel rehabber.  I was walking and taking photos at the Park for several more hours and, when I got home and got online, both Jennifer and Terra had sent me Facebook messages, videos and pictures. 

Here is a video of the baby getting milk in an eyedropper before it was turned over to the rehabber.  The estimated age of this baby was about four weeks old – research tells me squirrels do not usually leave the nest and hit the ground running until they are ten to twelve weeks old. 

Thank you to Jennifer for the videos. I am sending the girls this post as promised.  [The photos used in this post are mine as our pics were similar.]

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Road trip with Dad!! #Wordless Wednesday #Maria and Benjamin visit Council Point Park

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #WildlifeWednesday, #Wordless Wednesday, nature, walk, walking | Tagged , , | 48 Comments