Monday, February 6, 2012


I spread some temptation outside yesterday afternoon. The reason for this is that while I was doing dishes I happened to see a black squirrel in the back yard. Big deal, I hear you say. No, really, this is a big deal. I had never seen a black squirrel until 2000, when I visited a former friend who lived in Port Perry, Ontario, Canada. She was quite amused at my excitement since black squirrels are common there. Wikipedia lists their habitat as thus:
Large natural populations of black squirrels can be found throughout Ontario and in several parts of Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Washington DC, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.[6] Populations of grey squirrels in which the black subgroup is dominant can be found in these six areas as well as in smaller enclaves in New Jersey, southern New York, Illinois and Connecticut.[7]
In July, I started seeing a couple in the block south of me. Perhaps they have been here all along but I've lived in this neighborhood nearly 30 years and this is the first time I've seen them. I'm excited. We have the big, fat red and gray squirrels so it's exciting to see a different color. It came up on the deck but, by the time I could get the camera, it had disappeared. My hope is that by putting out peanuts, I will tempt it to stay.

 I decided to up the ante a bit, too, and maybe provide some photographic opportunities. I'm hoping one or more squirrels will get used to activity beyond the window and will wind up sitting there, on the deck railing, as they eat. This morning, most of the stash had been pillaged by a grey squirrel who was decidedly camera shy. I'll need to keep the bird bath full of water. I rinsed it out yesterday and refilled it. I have seen squirrels come to the bath to drink.

I am hopeful. I know some people view squirrels as vermin and they can be harmful if they get into your house. Still, the chance of some biological diversity in my little back yard is something I want to encourage. I do need to wash the exterior of the office windows. Man. You do something like this in the hopes of taking photos and I suddenly realize just how dirty the exterior of these windows are.

So, here we go in the grand experiment in welcoming squirrels.

Beverage:  Darjeeling tea


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