I’m happy to say we received much-needed moisture in the last 48 hours! Yesterday, I woke to about 4 inches of snow on the railing and it continued to lightly snow for several hours more. After it’d stopped, I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a squirrel in the plum bushes behind the fence which is a common sight. But when I looked again a few minutes later, that squirrel was in the same position. Could it be asleep?
Indeed it was. There were several squirrels eating from the two nut munch cylinders we hang on the back fence and they’d been busy as the snow fell, and I wondered if this one was just tuckered out from all the food foraging in the cold. While finches and towhees hopped around the nearby branches, the squirrel slightly opened her eyes while keeping her head down on the branch, and then appeared to go back to sleep.
It wasn’t until other squirrels began chasing each other on top of the fence that this one abandoned its rest. If this squirrel is the same that brazenly ate peanuts from the bird feeder this morning as I watched from just feet away, I’d say the powernap did her good.
You’ve probably noticed how when someone says hello or smiles at you, your automatic reaction is to say hello or smile back. ~ Shawn Achor
January 3, 2023
Yes, but then there are situations in which that other being stares and flicks its tail. How does a tail-less individual reciprocate?
Hide and go seek game
novice player betrays self
tail of surrender
hit me with a haiku
Yesterday I spotted what I thought was a chipmunk on the back fence. But when I got out the binoculars, realized it was a very small squirrel. And when I saw how tentatively it moved on the uneven fence pickets, guessed it was maybe a youngster.
October 17, 2022
Then I saw this:
Definitely a youngster.
Nut-Munch veterans know exactly how to get at the food. This young one made several failed attempts, sometimes moving even farther from the destination. Eventually, they figured it out and moved closer.
And then . . . success.
Out my window. July 1, 2022
I walk on the wire; it’s my profession,
and there are no two high wire walks alike.
~ Philippe Petit
. . .a writer who finally, finally figured out how to revise a certain knot-ridden chapter to her satisfaction. Huzzah! Way to go, Tracy!
September 28, 2020
Peanuts all around!
June 4, 2021
Bird feeder raider
strategizing next assault
Nuts to you, human
September 9, 2021
Left ear injured but
lived to eat another day
sweet sweet victory
Wait, what? You wanted this sunflower bud to blossom?
September 9, 2021
Well, maybe you shouldn’t have chased me away from the peanut feeder. What goes around, comes around.
I get where Patti Smith is coming from in this quote: “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” And I think when I originally drafted my work-in-progress, I did approach my art with abandon.
But today, as I continue to revise, I’m feeling a bit stealthy as I sow bits and pieces of backstory throughout the first 50 pages of this middle grade novel. I need the reader to know certain things, but I don’t want the reader aware of my presence. I very much do NOT want those bits and pieces to scream
WARNING: HEAVY-HANDED AUTHOR ON THE LOOSE!
Instead, I’m trying my best to adopt this squirrel’s attitude.
July 30, 2021
No sudden moves. Only careful and deliberate revisions that I hope won’t call attention to my presence.
(Note: Patti’s quote resonates with me so much I previously used it here.)
At this point, I’m not sure which is more difficult: a flat-out sprint on a narrow wire suspended many feet above the ground
or successfully and seamlessly including all desired character and plot elements in this draft I’m committed to finishing by June 30.
The pressure comes from knowing I’m going to print and bind this draft and that it’ll be much easier to work on it if all elements are already included. The thing is, I’m probably being too ambitious because there’s SO MUCH going on with this subject matter that I’m trying to include. But at this point, I’m inserting stuff as placeholders with the knowledge that some (most?) will get cut farther along in the process.
Anyway, that power line challenge looks pretty appealing right now.
“Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel.
Huge portions of what is loosely termed “the squirrel brain” are given over to one thought: food.
The average squirrel cogitation goes something like this: I wonder what there is to eat.”
― Kate DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
June 4, 2021
Came for some bird food
discovered feeder missing
Nothing is more revealing than movement. ~ Martha Graham
May 8, 2021
December 13, 2020
Hidden in shadow
sunlight betrays tail and eye
bird seed raid failure
Basically, if you go looking for trouble, it’ll come find you. ~ Estelle
February 25, 2021
This squirrel and I had multiple face-offs the other day over the peanut feeder that keeps the chickadees, nuthatches, and bushtits happy. I don’t mind squirrels snacking on the bird food now and again, but I do object to them eating ALL the peanuts.
Scat! The squirrel food’s hanging on the back fence, yo.
December 13, 2020
big lens caught him from afar
Each morning, I play loud, upbeat music to help me get going (one of my go-to songs is What’d I Say by Ray Charles) and yesterday it worked like a charm. I was singing and dancing as I washed my face when suddenly, the reality of what we’re enduring hit me. I froze, staring at my tear-filled eyes in the mirror. I felt a crushing weight, the despair pressing down on me as I remembered all over again that we’re truly on our own. Then I blinked away the tears and sang more loudly. When one day at a time feels like too much, I take it one breath at a time. That’s how I cope.
Squirrel friend out my window. November 20, 2020.
Please take care of yourselves and hang in there as best you can. My enduring hope is that we the people will rise up together to demand better. In the meanwhile, sing, dance, or do whatever carries you through those especially tough moments.
Colorado is getting much-needed precipitation today. While Zippy and I agree we’d prefer rain to snow, we’re gratefully accepting this weather. Even the sub-freezing temperatures. Whatever it takes to smother the wildfires.
Because it’s too cold to venture outside with my camera today, here’s a representative photo of a squirrel from a snowy day last February.
February 9, 2020.
If you look closely, you can see the snow on its nose as a result of it burrowing along the branch.
Marcel assesses the activity. September 28, 2020
Cat and squirrel face off through the glass as a House Finch dines in the background. Meanwhile, a fish (window sticker) swims across the scene. Would’ve been even more awesome if a reptile wandered into the picture.
Guess it could happen…the day’s still young.
September 14, 2020
narrow wire high above ground
April 17, 2020.
It’s only Monday and I’m feeling anxious about various family members and all I want to do is hunker down with tasty snacks and forget about the rest of the week and everything that comes with it. Alas, life doesn’t work that way. Even this squirrel, who appears so content in the photo, was moments later focused on my intrusion. None of us are allowed to just be. Or, are we?
“There is a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same. A much more interesting, kind and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our curiosity is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.”
― Pema Chödrön
April 17, 2020.
Can’t tell from this pic
tail-flicking squirrel enraged
I feel the same way
At the end of the day, everything you chase will run. ~ Burna Boy
December 25, 2018
December 16, 2019
In dreams, anything can be anything, and everybody can do. We can fly, we can turn upside down, we can transform into anything. ~ Twyla Tharp
I’ll take a pass on transforming into this squirrel. One, she hangs upside to eat and, two, she eats suet which is made with all sorts of stuff I avoid except on behalf of birds.
That’s right…birds. Not squirrels. Can someone please let her know the squirrel food’s on the back fence?