Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weirdness in the Wild

I've seen animals do some quirky things. Many of these I've witnessed in the security of my own home. A 5 pound bunny pulling a heavy comforter from one room to another - repeatedly. A cat who eats cantaloupes and marshmallows and does imitations of The Blair Witch Project. A dog who... well, why get repetitive.

But yesterday I was walking a new pup - an adorable Shiba Inu who I will call Miss T (always to protect the anonymity of the fabulous canines). We went to the park and stumbled upon a squirrel party. A woman was feeding the little cuties almonds and the entire Central Park squirrel population must have gotten the memo - there were dozens of the fuzzy tailed fellas. Miss T was beside herself with delight. I felt like I had taken a kid to the zoo and it was all monkeys all the time.

It was big fun watching the ballsy little guys coming so close. They are seriously fearless. Were I a 10 oz squirrel I would not tempt fate by getting so close to a fiesty Shiba Inu,
but happily I am not a squirrel.

All of this was fun, but not particularly unusual - given the almond fairy who was the queen of the day in squirrel town. But then, one squirrel did something I've never seen (others who were watching expressed the same shock so I don't think it's just me being sheltered from the way of squirrels. I think this was fairly uncommon.) The little guy grabbed a hunk of icy snow from the ground, climbed up the nearest tree, settled in and chomped away on the frozen treat. I'm betting the nuts were making him thirsty, but still, I've never seen this before so I'm still in awe.

Hey, I'm easy, just ask the dogs I walk.


BetteJo said...

I frequently feed squirrels on my lunch hour, yes - I am THAT interesting. I've never seen one grab a chunk of snow like thatand take it up a tree, but they do kind of cup their little paws and nibble at snow. In the summer it's water from a puddle or something but winter - that's where they get their water.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I'm impressed that you managed to maneuver a camera, a Shiba and a squirrel all at the same time. Shibas are similar to basenjis in many ways but apparently even more of a dickens but also very lovable.

Joy Keaton said...

BetteJo - You ARE interesting! I think it's fun! I've seen them take a little lick of snow, or melt, for water but that clever little guy with his chunk... just killed me!!

JT - ahhh, my many skills, eh? Truth to tell I had a death-grip on the leash and only took out the camera when I saw that she was fixated and statue-like. Then I helped her up onto a bench where I was able to hold her close to me by her harness AND leash in one hand with one hand on the camera. Only her total fascination with the squirrels allowed me to be able to do it. Good Girl!

whimsical brainpan said...

But those are NYC squirrels yes, they should be tough and frearless.

And how did you manage an excited dog and the camera?

Joy Keaton said...

Whim - see my response above - I just held on tight while she was completely fixated. It helped a lot to have her up on the bench so I could actually hold her really close and the camera is super small and easy to hold in one hand (thank you for the birthday camera Gary!)

Gary said...

I love the photo of the squirrel and Miss T's ear. Great perspective. Personally, I think that NYC squirrels are way too brave. I like my small rodents and large fish to be more afraid of me than I am of them.

You are so welcome for the camera. I love mine as well. :) (meaning the one you bought me for my last birthday...what was that 28? 29?)