We have some tough squirrels in our neighborhood. Most of the cats leave them alone, but one of the neighbor’s cats is always on the hunt. Looks like this time the squirrel turned the tables:
I am working from the family room today with a view of the patio and backyard, doing research on another group of women with the idea of another book.
Each time I look up from the journals of handwritten pages dating back to 1923, I see the backyard wildlife.
The small sparrows fly in, under the patio roof, to land in the dish of dry catfood, picking a morsel before hopping out and fluttering around.
The bluejays and mocking birds are fighting for territory farther out, under the pear tree and over the greenhouse pad.
The squirrels scamper up and down the pear tree, picking over the goodies I have put out there for their snacks. It’s getting very hot, so one is lounging on a branch, drooping his front quarters over the limb while keeping watch.
The orange cat is stretched out on the recently watered lawn so as to keep cool. He too has been on the patio to get some food and a drink of water.
Although the history of these women who lived in another century is fascinating to me, the antics of today’s critters makes for a humorous respite.
Moved off the patio and out under the pear tree this morning. Large hawks are circling my neighborhood, seeking breakfast among the large squirrel population out here. Terry tells me I am fattening up the livestock by feeding them. That’s ok, it’s the circle of nature. The hawks must also survive.
We have squirrels, whom I feed. They are living creatures and have needs just like the rest of us. If the bounty of nuts, leftover breads and cereals, and dried fruits should run out, one of the little guys will sit on a limb and look longingly at the patio door, and if I fail to notice, will begin to loudly chatter. They move higher in the tree when I come out with a bowl of munchies and watch as I empty the bowl in the saddle of the tree.
Recently a friend was lamenting, on Facebook, that a squirrel had eaten through their electric wiring, causing a lack of power in half of the house. I jokingly replied that this is the reason I feed my squirrels. A different FB friend (not one of my FB friends) viciously attacked me for feeding and encouraging the “vermin” to breed. I was certainly taken aback by such hatred for a little creature. Of course, this may be the same person who doesn’t believe in giving food to the homeless because it will only encourage more people to leave their homes.
Although there is none of the usual tule fog for Thanksgiving in the Central Valley, the reason is bad news for us–no rain. The drought continues. Our weather is so glorious, the light is so golden, the trees are beautifully dressed in reds, yellows, and oranges. The smell of autumn is intoxicating as we have so many bay trees and citrus trees. Someone should make a perfume with that recipe.
With a whole week away from school for the holiday, I have plenty of time to rake leaves and linger in the backyard to enjoy this beautiful time of the year. Today, after taking care of the newly fallen foliage, I sat on the greenhouse wall and read and wrote in my journal. Behind me, in the saddle of the pear tree, a squirrel was munching on the nuts I had left there. He did not appreciate my presence even though I am the source of his bounty.
Suddenly there are leaves, small pears, and other debris, raining down on my head. The squirrel had scurried up above me and was shaking the branches. Perhaps he was only trying to pry lose some of the pears for his own lunch, but after I got up and left, I could see him nibbling the nuts again. He too is enjoying the lovely fall weather in the backyard.
The days here in the San Joaquin Valley have been hot for the past week–over 100 every day, and closer to 108 on some. I keep the yards well watered so the neighborhood critters will have a cool place to rest in the afternoons.
I am so thankful for air conditioning in our house, and lots of shade covering the rooftop, so that I can stay comfortable on these scorchers. What did people do before air conditioning?
Al Capone tucked away on the concrete patio.
Although I do not “own” this cat, he hangs out in our yard most of the time, especially on these hot days.
Lilly is the neighbor’s cat, but she likes our yard because it’s quiet and cool. Her owners have dogs.
One of my squirrel buddies
This is one of the many squirrels who come through our yard, eat the nuts I put in the tree, and sometimes hang out for awhile, especially on a hot summer afternoon.