Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shell Shocked Squirrels

It was cold out there today - brrrrrrr! - even though the sun was shining. And it had been a stormy, rainy night, so I had to go out to check on my fuzzballs. The squirrels were all sitting like statues at the bases of trees, just staring at me, shell shocked. As if I was somehow to blame for this sad state  of affairs.   I cried out to them, "Hey, don't blame me! I'm not Old Man Winter! Just because I bring the food doesn't mean I bring the foul weather!"

But they were just not running up to me as usual. Except for Alphie, who came bounding over in his typical exhuberant way. A little cold weather didn't phase an alpha squirrel. Such a darling!  Eventually the two black babies came down from the tree. I'd been worrying about them, not having seen either of them for a few days. One has grown a thick fur coat  and looks to be twice the size of the other one. I worry about the little one. I fed him well. The red baby, the one I call Red, has grown a luxuriant auburn coat and looks quite large now. Of course I know there's just a little guy hiding beneath that crowning glory. Speaking of which, Pinky is the King! His big fur coat amazed me as it glistened in the sun. Spunky has also a grown a nice thick coat finally, and actually looks very beautiful, as opposed to her usual scrawny self. I know I'm partial to blacks, browns and reds. But my special pet of course was a gray squirrel named Patches. Patches is not around to see the winter.

Check out the Fur Gallery:

twas a cold winter's day just after Christmas
the days are short and it gets dark early
The smart squirrels are all sporting their new fur coats now, and looking smart and stylish for winter.




Pretty boy Alphie


Spunky by sunlight

still skinny but well-rounded now 


I'm Pinky - don't mess with me!

ya wanna hand over one of those nuts now?

a big, gorgeous, furry squirrel!


Foxy - the mother of all squirrels

Baby Red

I'm just a little guy underneath

oops - my tail is showing

Yes, something happened to my tail

Another Fashion Parade

Christmas Elves

Too Sweet

Run for the hills! Never trust anyone under five
(they never have any nuts either)

Seeing Double

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Squirrel's Christmas

Christmas Eve
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the park
Not a creature was stirring, once it got dark;

The squirrels were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of peanuts danced in their heads;

Christmas Morn
Waiting for Santa

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their nests to see what was the matter!!

Santa and his helper

Bernie Goetz and his pet squirrel

Let the feasting begin!

Christmas Trees

Santa and his elf are wishing you...
Bernie Goetz and his pet squirrel
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Trees

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

William Carlos Williams

There is still life in those trees, however, and I don't mean still life -- although this particular life can be very still indeed, until the time comes to pounce.

red-tailed hawk (click to enlarge)
The red-tailed hawk had made its second appearance near the orange tree. A couple of people were gawking while I took these photos, talking about the bird's beauty. I had to agree that it was a beautiful bird, but that's all we agreed on. One woman was going on about how marvelous it is that they're introducing these birds to the New York City area. I attempted to disabuse her of that wrongheaded  notion, saying that these big hawks should not be living (and feeding) here in the city. They should be out in the forest somewhere! But they eat the rats, she said. And I knew what was coming next: they also eat the squirrels. They eat my pets!

I really didn't like seeing the hawk twice now near the orange tree, where  Alphie and now two baby black squirrels are currently living. One of the onlookers said that this hawk lives at Playground Five in Stuytown, which is south of here, down by 14th Street.

The trees at PCV that are so pretty when they bloom in Spring, so lush and green in Summer and so dramatically colorful in Autumn, also have a strange kind of beauty in Winter. Here are a few scenes of Winter:


two baby squirrels


out on a limb




December blooms

snow -- not!


winter sky