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mbumby
Visiting, and being visited by, nature 
28th-May-2009 09:57 am
Nature

Yesterday after work, I went with other members of a local club to get a guided tour (by Grandpa Don himself) of the Botsford Preserve (See a touch more info here.) We all left a few blood samples and happy mosquito-mamas (and more than a few corpses of same). I was introduced to a few plants I didn't know -- May apple, Black Cherry, Slippery Elm(?), Sedge -- and heard of one interesting one that is called something like "Jewel" something, or, later in the season, touch-me-not, which I didn't see. Got to taste both wild garlic and garlic mustard. Got to climb into a tree house with a solar panel & battery that can be rented out. Was reacquainted with a flower I recognized but have forgotten the name of. Ok, it had rained A LOT earlier, and parts of the woods were pretty mucky, but the bridges were still there and it was a wonderful little walk.

Went home, processed mail, did my exercises, took my bath, and was probably in bed by 10:30. Didn't get anything accomplished other than that.

I think I needed the sleep, because this morning I had odd, disturbing dreams, and couldn't get out ot bed until 8am.

This morning I opened the slats and looking out into the back yard I realized that I'll need to fill the bird feeder again soon. Probably it was squirrels that finished it off -- they've learned how to turn the squirrel baffle into a squirrel perch -- but boy are they fun to watch.

And then I looked at the corn I set out for the squirrels, and there was a small critter going to town on it. About the size of a chip-monk -- it climbed up the spiral, climbed down inside, and set to work trying to pull the cob out. I could have watched that all day if not for this "work" thing. It was well camouflaged by the grass & bare spots around, but I'm wondering if it might not have been a baby squirrel -- that seemed to be the coloration I was noticing the most -- brown on back, with a creamier belly.
Comments 
28th-May-2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing you saw a Red Squirrel (AKA Pine Squirrel, Chickaree, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Chipmunk-sized, and with that same zippy-jerky movement of a chipmunk. Reddish brown on top, "smoother" coloration, and more whitish on the bottom, as opposed to the yellow-orange underside of the big Fox Squirrels that dominate Washtenaw County.
29th-May-2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Well cool! Thanks. The clever critter eventually did get the one cob out (I had 2 half-sized ones in the feeder) because when I went to replace them there was only one, and it had been REALLY eaten well.
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