A Bird, the Park and Squirrelly Things


“A rat is a rat is a rat!” That’s what my husband always says about squirrels; and I typically concur based on the fact that they are, indeed, a member of the rodent family. In his defense, many a mink coated rat has disrupted our lives in terms of making nests in all the wrongs places, leaving their dribblings and debris behind in garages, their discarded nut shells piercing bare feet.

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There are only two basic groups of squirrel. There is the red squirrel and the gray. There is also a less common, but more aggressive, black squirrel which I have seen only once while living in Costa Rica. They are quite fast too! I have a photo of a furry black flash somewhere in my files that I have named “the black squirrel”.  It is also a member of the gray squirrel family.

The flying squirrel appears to be in a class of its own and is the only nocturnal variety of its species. It dislikes being disturbed during its daytime napping, not that I would even consider such a thing. You know, if it looks like a bat, soars like a bat….Oh! And they don’t really fly, but rather soar and  swoop through the air between the trees. I have seen quite a few of these flying squirrels during my childhood as dusk settled in and they began their hunt for food. My siblings and I would squeal “Daddy, a bat!” and run inside, clutching the tops of our heads (because everyone smart knew bats loved to get tangled in young girls’ hair…..what-you never watched Gilligan’s Island?) Daddy would always laugh and remind us it was only the flying squirrels.

What I am sharing today and that we see most often in our area is the garden variety gray squirrel; and although I know the disturbing facts about its sordid lineage, these adorable creatures are just too endearing to lump in with the common rat. (Apologies to Willard and all other rat pet owners here. God bless your hearts for finding beauty in all of God’s creatures,  but please keep it on a leash-or in a cage. Better yet, set it free!) we must make no mistake here, squirrels seem like a scourge in many places because they multiply like…well, you know. The squirrel, much like a dog we once had, cares about one thing only…eating. Maybe two, judging from its population.

Whatever it gathers may be eaten now or later. But it will not miss an opportunity to grab a morsel whenever it can, snatching it up to run away with it, sometimes scratching the ground and burying the treat while at other times just pretending to do this in an effort to “fool” its competitors. The other day I shared a pecan with one who proceeded to “fake bury” it several times before running up the nearest tree with its treasure.

Sometimes they just savor the moment…

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But always they come running if they see anyone approaching with something in hand. This squirrel looked like a scrappy one and was anything but timid. Poor thing looks like it has had to fight a bit for its food.

As they so often will…

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My Animal Speak book by Ted Andrews states that when animals appear in our lives in a larger than normal way we should look to them for messages which apply to our own lives. What squirrel represents is preparedness, planning and productivity. Now, it doesn’t always mean one needs to BE more productive or prepared. Sometimes it can mean the opposite. Do we give enough? Do we give too much? Are we prepared for the future or are we working so hard for a future goal that we are not enjoying the present moment? Perhaps we need to accept more gifts for ourselves and savor them in the moment instead of waiting for the ‘perfect time’. After all, there is no tangible time, no future or past.  There really is only the moment that we are in that truly exists. And do we long for that special moment so much we are willing to make enemies of those who live and work beside us. Spirit has always provided enough for all living things. There is no need to hoard for the future or fight over what is needed to live one more day. No one knows how many of those are left for any of us.

When I am outdoors, with Nature, my camera sees the truth of existence. Watching these creatures on their simple and often treacherous journey humbles me.

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The Anhinga cares not for what the Cormorant does as it dries itself on the banks of a busy park.

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The Cormorant rests as it waits its next fishing expedition.

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The bee smothers itself in pollen, enthusiastically carrying out one of the most important jobs on the planet. Does it know how grand it is?

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While nearby the humans entertain themselves with boat races. Whoever dubbed us the Human Race either cursed us or saw the future all too clearly. I have never enjoyed races much. Or competition. But I do enjoy a good sailing excursion…

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Preferably into a glorious sunset…

Hope you all have a perfect week filled with millions of ‘now’ moments that take your breath away…

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Why not start with this one? 😊

Yeah…it’s like this

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22 thoughts on “A Bird, the Park and Squirrelly Things

  1. They might be tree-rats, but I love watching squirrels. We feed them and we worry about them and we brake for them when they can’t figure out whether to cross or go back. Great photos, and wonderful words to consider. Have a great week

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  2. Beautiful photos, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about nature and the wondrous creatures that live within.

    I tend to keep a distance with squirrels ever since I offered one a morsel and it ran up my leg. Scared the heck out of me. Nevertheless, I still think they’re cute.

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    1. Hi Mary! That must have scared you. Once when hubby and my Dad were standing in our back yard talking, a baby squirrel ran up my Dad’s leg. He shoed it off but it kept coming back. It either thought he was a very short tree or its mother. Finally the real Mom showed up to call it back to the tree it belonged in! Thanks for sharing your story.

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      1. I am beginning to doubt their eyesight..when I drop a nut near one, they cannot ‘see’ it but use their nose to go in wild spirals before finally tracking it down. Hmmmm….

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  3. You said, “Hope you all have a perfect week filled with millions of ‘now’ moments that take your breath away…”. That’s the sweetest and most poignant wish for others I’ve heard/read this week.

    This quote is going into my little flip notebook of my favorite quotes. Thank you for the lovely thoughts, and images.

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    1. Awww…thank you Deborah. I am honored to have a place in your little book of quotes. My hopes are the sincerest. So many people suffer needlessly. When I feel lacking in large ways, I begin counting the small blessings I have. They add up pretty quickly! Have a great week.

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  4. Lovely lovely pictures. Thank you so much. We have tons of gray squirrels here…a few rare red squirrels show up every now and then. While walking my dog the other day, I came across a gray squirrel carrying a baby squirrel in its mouth to a new nest. I’d never seen anything like that before. You. are so so right. So many miracles around us…every day…every moment.
    Thank you for a great post.

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  5. So true. In India, we have a saying that “kafan mein jebein nahi hoti” which translates There are pockets in shrouds. You have a very good message here and that humans should learn from nature.

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