Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interaction with a savvy squirrel

Four days after the Oct. 29 snowstorm, there were few signs of that aberrational weather in the park when I walked earlier today. The grass may have been greener, and a few clumps of weeds looked flattened in the middle as if they’d had an heavy, icy burden for a while.

The snow probably had nothing to do with the numbers of blue jays I saw. However, I encountered one squirrel who may have been reacting to the recent weather and decided to prepare for winter. She was under some trees around a small parking lot when I threw one of the (unsalted) peanuts-in-shells I sometimes carry.

I got off a good throw, the nut landed within a few feet of the squirrel and . . . she walked right over to it and picked it up. This doesn’t usually happen with me and squirrels. More often, they scamper up the nearest tree when I toss a peanut their way, and I’m left to wonder if they ever checked it out and accepted it.

Today’s squirrel was different. She seemed ready for that peanut. Not only that, she knew just what she’d do with it. She started across the parking area to grassy land leading toward a berm and then some bushes. Partway to where she wound up (planning to bury the peanut, I thought), she stopped, sat up and looked right at me.

I decided she was saying, “Thanks, amigo.” And I threw another peanut her way – in case what she actually said was, “More!”

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