Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creme Puff's Big Day

On a warm January afternoon, Creme Puff has a second outing at PCV. Once again he returns to "the scene of the crime", not far from the tree he fell out of,  or was pushed from, as a baby. For the full story on that, read about his first visit to PCV:

This time there's no harness, and the plan is to let him spend a few hours of the afternoon outside in the park. The idea is to determine Creme Puff's suitability for release. 
 Click on a picture to enlarge it
Welcome to PCV
the carrier with CP is hanging on a tree
peeking out

wow. smells interesting.

I'm a bit nervous...

my peanut pacifier helps calm me down

OK OK! I'm coming out!

lending a  helping hand 

steppin' out

almost there...

on the ground!

now what?
off and running!

first order of business: give this nut a proper burial

Can I help you, little fella? You look kinda lost.

Sema comes by to say hi.
Sema is the kind lady who rescued me when I fell from my nest.
She saved my life.

this contraption just fascinates me 

 on the ball court with Dad

We have the place pretty much  to ourselves

smelling the tarmac

meeting new squirrels (no biggie)
dreams of glory

everything's under control!

going around and around and around and around

 Time to move on! You must be dizzy by now?
trying to get me back into the carrier

...is no easy task

I'd rather sit under here.

Come on, pretty please? We really should be going now.

Last call, before...

the boys arrive!
OK I'm convinced - let's scram

leaving the ball court- finally
on the lawn amongst the pigeons

this soft moss is great for digging - can't do this at home
and there are some good hiding places around here
Shortly thereafter, a soft plopping sound is heard as CP suddenly falls to the ground, exhausted. He's scooped up and returned to his carrier, where he settles in for a nap.

You guys enjoy your pizza. I'll just rest in here for a while.  

It was fun at PCV. Maybe next time I'll climb a tree!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

how to get a baby squirrel to eat out of your hand

Simple. Just show up with food right after a snowstorm. They'll be literally running into your arms! It's a great way to break the ice, so to speak.

Baby's first snowfall
This tastes cool
movin' on out

a slippin' and a slidin'

Ah, lunch has arrived!

peanuts never tasted so good

Alphie's first snowfall

A winter wonderland!

Not sure I like it though...

Think I'll just stay on the tree

Blood on the Tracks


Disclaimer: no squirrels were harmed in the taking of these pictures

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Squirrel Mahem -- Murder or Mating?

I noticed a different mood among the squirrels today and put it down to the cold weather. They seemed desperate for peanuts and were jumping all over themselves (and me) to get them.

All of a sudden there arose such a clatter  that I ran to the bushes to see what was the matter! There must have been at least 4 or 5  squirrels tangling in the bushes and it sounded like a murder was in progress. I could literally hear the pouncing, squeaking, snarling and clicking, but couldn't see what was going on. Every now and then I caught a glimpse of a squirrel running at top speed as they appeared and then disappeared back into the bushes. 
I waded in as far as I could, pleading with them to stop, but to no avail. They were not paying any attention to me. The old ploy of tossing peanuts wasn't working.

Then a black squirrel escaped from the bushes and ran up a tree with several others in hot pursuit, and then back down and into the bushes again. This went on for a while. I thought about all the wounds I've seen on squirrels during the winter months. These wounds are often slow to heal and are especially nasty because of the cold. Yet that's when they appear. I wondered if I was seeing the source of them now, if they fight among themselves because they get so cold and desperate. Were they exhibiting existential angst? 

Things finally calmed down and I went back to feeding the other squirrels.
Don't look at me... I had nothin' to do with it.
Soon I noticed that one of the black squirrels was being chased up a tree by a gray squirrel that was flicking its tail and making clicking sounds. Thinking that this could be a resumption of the previous attack, I threw them some peanuts in an attempt to distract them. The black squirrel took one and began eating.
The gray squirrel however, was too intent on harassment, and ignored the offer:
Although he did take time out to gnaw on a branch with buds on it:

Duh, mating season!