It was sunny today but very cold outside, and had been in the 20's last night. Squirrels were crying all over the place as I walked around PVC East. Even Lucky was making the strangest noises! At first I thought they were crying because they were cold and hungry, and tried calming them with peanuts. I should have known better. Eventually I saw the demon hawk feasting on a small gray squirrel, over by Lucky's tree.
Well then I did a very stupid thing. I started lecturing the bird in an angry voice, telling it to scram (I know I know... I sometimes lecture squirrels, and they seem to know exactly what I'm saying, although a man came over to me once and said, "You know they don't understand a word you're saying"). Anyway, the bird understood something and took off without finishing its meal. That was my mistake, because unfortunately it then parked itself on a branch of a tree where it had a bird's eye view of all the babies that were out sunning themselves. This was on the big tree over by Tubby's area that gets the afternoon sunlight.
Although the more mature squirrels were sounding alarms all over the place, some even getting close to challenge the bird to leave, the babies were oblivious to their imminent peril.
Then I did something even more stupid. Thinking that I could protect the squirrels by standing near their tree, I ended up bringing more of them out and about, seeing the nut lady standing there with her bag of nuts. And of course I did start throwing out a few nuts to those that ventured down. Really bright move, as it kept them out and about. And the bird did not budge from its ringside seat.
Finally I made my third mistake of the day -- I left. I grew too cold and thought my presence was of no help and maybe a hindrance. Unfortunately the hawk was still sitting there patiently watching the tree when I left. I now know what "watched like a hawk" means. The only good news is that there was no sign of Tubby today. At least I think that's good news.