Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Damages


If squirrels could sue...

So it's past the mid-summer mark now and the proposed New York City Parks Dept. rule that would ban the feeding of squirrels and other wildlife is still not in effect. However, a similar ban has been in effect at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for three and a half months now.

So what are we seeing?
Well the main thing I've observed is scanty tails on squirrels that aren't being fed. When you understand the importance of a tail you realize that a squirrel with a tail that's not in tip-top shape has a pretty serious deficit. A squirrel's tail is its crowning glory, and holds its power. Where the tail goes, so goes the squirrel.

Here's what a squirrel's tail should look like


A squirrel's tail in all its glory



This poor little female squirrel has actually lost part of her tail. She also has some kind of skin condition where she is losing her fur.




This poor little guy has a swollen eye.



So these are the kinds of things we've been seeing. To those who are advocating just letting squirrels eat what nature provides, you can see that for squirrels in city parks, nature just isn't providing enough to keep them healthy.


Dumpster Divas


New York City's proposed prohibition on feeding squirrels has not yet gone into effect, but it seems to be already having an effect. According to a recent article in the Gothamist:

"NYC Park Visitors Warned About Hangry Squirrels Out For Blood"

According to a Parks official,  there's been a string of squirrel attacks recently, which would indicate that there are lots of hungry and angry squirrels out there. Well, I've seen some hungry squirrels at Peter Cooper Village, but I have yet to see any angry squirrels. Only sad and scared squirrels. And I've noticed something curious: some squirrels appear to have almost internalized the new ban on feeding them there, and skulk around as if eating a peanut is a punishable act. Somehow they know. So sad.

Trash Can Diving

Some squirrels have taken to diving into the trash cans.






Got it!


This squirrel dove in again and again, each time coming up with a little nugget in its mouth. Wondering what it was, I looked in and saw a bag of chips!
Stacy's Chips





Making Do  

 I saw a squirrel eating an entire sandwich right through the saran wrap. Another squirrel was chewing on a napkin.


Hmm... smells like food

This looks good

A well-chewed wrapper



Trash Disposal


Buried treasure? Or buried trash?



Lady Black Gets Collared

I found my precious pet Lady Black with this plastic cup around her neck. God knows how that happened. She could have been wearing it for several days before I found her. She wasn't able to get it off herself and seemed very agitated. I quickly helped her and she now loves me even more.

What a revoltin' development this is!
 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

All Along the Watchtower



          There must be some kind of way outta here...           

Here come da fuzz!



 
I'll be watching you.




Outsider

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sidewalk Squirrels

Here's the latest wrinkle: now we're not permitted to feed the squirrels on the cobblestone area just outside the gates of the Kingdom, because that too is PCV property.

So we have to take it a step further to the sidewalk.
close to the street and cars

Of course this causes problems. The squirrels can scoot up the trees in the cobblestone areas which gives them a sense of security, but out on the open sidewalk, run-ins with pedestrians -- including dogs -- are common. Not good for the digestion!





And of course there's the problem of the remains of the day -- the mess of peanut shells on the sidewalk. Then the security guard complains about who is going to clean up all the shells.  I tell him that it would be so much better if I could feed them "in their habitat" (as he calls it), like we used to do. They were safe from dogs and people in their sandbox, and people didn't have to worry about stepping on peanut shells. And so it goes.






The Pied Piper of PCV


But they're not rats... they're squirrels!



A few squirrels have caught on to the idea that there could be a meal waiting for them if they're willing to travel to far-flung corners of the Kingdom. When I walk through Peter Cooper Village these days, I soon find a stream of squirrels running behind me.

Did you know that you can herd squirrels?





Well the Pied Piper herded rats, and some of the good residents of Peter Cooper Village like to call squirrels "rats with tails", but they are not rats! Not that there's anything wrong with rats, but the designation is meant to be derogatory, implying that they eat garbage and carry disease. But squirrels are vegans who eat peanuts and flowers and hurt nobody. And they have a clean bill of health from the State of NY: city squirrels have no rabies. They are harmless, sweet creatures who deserve a chance to enjoy life.


I was glad to see that Lady Grey had joined the pack,  as I sometimes worry about her. She's also expecting babies, and she's the one that produces those wonderful orange-tailed squirrels. We do want to keep her fat and happy!

Lady Grey

Lady Black


side by side

Monday, May 27, 2019

This Land Is Your Land

This land is my land. But it's not their land.
Outlander

Whose land is it anyway?

The squirrels have been banished to the street outside the Kingdom if they're looking for a bite to eat. Here some kind soul might take pity on them and feed them without risk of retaliation.

Why feed the squirrels? Because when we took the land, we took away their food sources, leaving little for them to eat. We don't care for them the way we care for our domesticated pets. There are no cans of squirrel food hanging from the trees.  But we have a history of doing things like that, don't we? It's all about us, never about them.

But that's a mistake: "Unless you become as little squirrels, you shall not enter the Kingdom."


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Underground Nutwork


The "grace" period at PCV has ended as of May 1, which means that the warning period is now over. For PCV tenants that could mean the loss of their lease if they're caught feeding the squirrels. For people like me it could mean being expelled from the Kingdom. 

I was in a bit of a quandary: I didn't want to risk expulsion, but I didn't want to stop feeding my pets, Lady Grey and Lady Black, both of whom are expecting babies and in need of extra nutrition when eating for four or five or six. The brilliant Lady Black solved my dilemma by following me out of PCV one day.
Lady Black
Lady Black and I have this long-standing game which she never tires of playing, where I throw her a nut and she runs off and buries it and then comes back for another.  This can go on forever.  So I had this bright idea that together she and I could set up an underground nutwork, where I'd feed her "off site" and then she could go bury the nuts "on site", and thus help feed the entire community!

Unfortunately, this didn't work out quite as expected, when instead of bringing the nuts back to PCV, she started crossing the little roadway there to bury them in the sidewalk.



This kind of defeats the purpose, and it's also dangerous for her to be crossing the road all the time. So I'm not too happy with that solution. At first I thought she was just not into sharing, but now I'm beginning to think that she has already internalized the notion that she is only supposed to have peanuts outside of PCV. As I've said before, this is one smart squirrel.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Salad Days


Report from the field:  how are the squirrels faring on their new diet? Well we haven't seen that many squirrels in distress. Actually we haven't seen that many squirrels, period. The area is fairly devoid of wildlife these days. That must make everyone very happy.

Recipes for Squirrel Salad

So what are they eating?  Is it possible that they are actually finding enough food? Are some good-hearted folks smuggling in eats? Today I saw a squirrel eating a napkin. It must have smelled of something edible. I did notice some disappearing tulip tops earlier in the month. And I've seen them eating buds off trees and heard that they will also eat the leaves and bark.

"Let them eat bark!"


These could be salad fixings


'Tis the season

Many squirrels are expecting babies now. One can only hope that the available food will be sufficient to nourish the expectant mothers and their kittens.

better days

Wednesday, May 1, 2019