The Hipocrisy of It All

160510 Red Squirrel (1)Yesterday the sun finally came out after a week of cold, rainy weather.  Our lawn was beginning to look like a hayfield so I decided to take out the lawn mower.  When I engaged the blades something few out from beneath the mower and I thought it was just a leaf but out of the corner of my eye I saw it kept moving.  It was a baby red squirrel, not quite able to run, trying to crawl away.

I got off of the mower and took by jacket off to pick it up (I didn’t know if it would bite me).  When I picked it up the shivering little thing curled up in the warmth of the fleece.  I looked all around for signs of other squirrels or a nest but found nothing so I put a warm bottle of water underneath a small fleece blanket and tucked him into it.

Okay, I have to tell you that I am not a fan of red squirrels, they are destructive little buggers that get into everything.  I have a good many of them that spend a lot of their time on my bird feeders or in the shed trying to get into the containers of chicken feed or bird seed. If they feel trapped in any way they chew their way out.  We trained Chester this past winter to chase them away from the feeders and would send him out multiple times a day.  He thought it was fun and an important job, sadly the squirrels were much smarter than he was so it was really just a game played over and over again.

This was a seriously cute little animal and I couldn’t imagine just putting it back outdoors to surely die of starvation, exposure or owl fodder.  He let me pick him up and was pretty content in the warmth of my hands.  He’d hang onto my fingers.

160510 Red Squirrel (3)

Years ago we had friends that raised a baby squirrel, he’d ride around in their Dad’s shirt pocket so I googled care and rehab of squirrels.  Yeah, uhm no.  Who has that kind of time and energy?  Sure he’s cute, sure I don’t want to be the one to bring him back out into the cold world to starve. Ugh, I hate this sort of thing.

I called my vet and she gave me the name of a woman who rehabs wild animals and birds.  When I called her she said she’d take him but it would have to be later in the day and to just keep him warm.

So over the course of the next few hours I continued to keep the hot water bottle hot and held him off and on just to check him out and give him a pat or two.  Made sure my sister came up to see him.  It’s so very rare to get up close and personal to a wild creature to really inspect them.  The paws are amazingly long, to grasp and climb.  And the whiskers . . .

I took him on a little car trip and dropped him off to be cared for with 17 other squirrels (this is the only red one).  It was with a sense of relief that I didn’t have to send him to his doom as well as knowing that he would be set free when old enough far away from my back yard.



150203 Squirrel Tracks

As much as some people hate winter I have to tell you that yesterday’s snowstorm was pretty amazing.  This morning is one of those bright, clear, blue sky days.  It’s really cold.  It’s really beautiful.

We have a red squirrel that seems to love looking in the windows of the house.  There’s a pile of snow in the corner of the house and the ell that is above the window now and it looks in on us several times during the day.  This morning I looked out as the sun was coming up to see the evidence of its peeping. I love how even its tracks to the table are.

I know how incredibly destructive these animals can be but must admit I also think they are one of the cutest rodents there is.  It’s a special treat to me to look out the window and have one staring back less than a foot away.  Of course it’s not so good when the dogs see the squirrel at that close a range.  They tend to be loud and rather destructive to the woodwork.  Fortunately they are oblivious most of the time, not expecting to see a squirrel that close while in the house.

Surrounded by wonder and beauty, that’s so much of what happens here on so many occasions.

A Finch Obsession

131228 Finches (1)Okay, this has become a bit of an obsession.  Honestly, who can blame me?  Look at how beautiful the light is shining through their wings.

I have been adding to the feeder array to attract more birds – I was thinking different types of birds but the early morning visitors are the finches.  The woodpecker was on the feeder very early this morning and the jays come and go.  When the finches come it’s a crowd.  They all tussle for a spot on any one of the four feeders that are out there now.

131228 Finches (5)Photographing them like this allows me to watch their interactions frozen in time.  It’s as close as I can get to examining them without looking at a dead bird.  It also is great seeing them stopped in flight.

Of course we now have a new visitor.  He’s just scavenging around the base of the feeders so far.  I’ll throw him some seed on the stump today and hope that’s where he continues to eat.

131228 Red Squirrel