Yesterday I was washing the car in the shade on the south side of the house. Being conservative about water, I washed the car on the grass so that it wouldn’t be wasted. At least the grass would gain a little refreshment during our spring drought. As usual, I became sidetracked, noticing several robin’s frisking around in the nearby bird baths, ruffling their wet feathers; taking turns enjoying the cool water. Forgetting about the soap drying on the car now, I moved to the bird baths to refill them with my water wand. Intuitively, I felt I was being gazed at while I stood there patiently waiting to fill the plates with water. Looking up, there it was! A baby squirrel, tucked away in the crook of the tree that Frosty had wintered in this year!! I knew immediately this must be his offspring! A Grandsquirrel! Well, you know… since we did raise Frosty I did feel a bit maternal about this little one.
FD snapped this photo with the zoom lens since the little fella (or girl) allowed him fairly close. It’s amazing how nature camouflages critters in the environment. If I hadn’t had my own “intuitive” moment, feeling the gaze of something on me, I would never have noticed the timid baby observing me.
Now I can quit questioning the recent strange activity at Frosty’s hackberry tree near the house. It was a cold winter. He gathered nesting material (our back porch cushions and rugs) and possibly shared his nest. He likely found a mate… did what squirrels do, and eventually found himself without a home when the female gave birth. Recently, we have observed numerous squirrel battles. Frosty going to his tree, only to have another squirrel chase him off. I never knew who chased who off. Now I understand. The female, being ferocious about her young, has taken over the nest and is protecting her babies. So far, we’ve just seen one baby. Two to three infants are normal but one to seven offspring is possible.
I returned to the dull task of washing the car. I looked back at the tree to find my little friend quietly observing me. I wondered to myself if they ponder our existence as we do theirs? Was he fascinated by the color of my hot pink shorts? Did he find my voice soothing? Was he intrigued by the water I could turn off and on, and did it make him thirsty for a sip? Was he tempted to leave the tree without his mother’s watchful eye to protect him? I again turned my attention to the car and realized my gazing and pondering had allowed the wind to dry the car, leaving soap streaks all over the exterior. I thought about that too… how silly we are to put so much importance on things looking a certain way. I rubbed the streaks away with a chamois and thought about how wonderful it must be to be a squirrel… a critter. Not to have any cares about how your hair looks, or if you were impressing your neighbors with the fine house or nest you occupied, or if you had the best looking girlfriend around. Who cares if someone sees you eating tree leaves because you didn’t have the means to find pecans or acorns? What does it really matter if you did something silly in front of everyone?
The more I spend time with nature, the more I realize we humans are so silly. Our egos put so much importance on things that just do not matter. I propose that today we all find the “squirrel” in us… the wild creature that simply lives for the moment!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…
UPDATE: The day after this post FD and I discovered 3 baby squirrels in the tree!