Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eichhörnchen Ecureuil Skiouros Risu Scoiattolo Taramchwi Roddan biljagh

“You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”

I agree regarding the tree, bird and violet; but the squirrel? Not so much. Last summer we were the unwilling host to a squirrel that visited our kitchen five or six times by doing various things to the screen door to enable his entry. The majority of the time he only hung around on the door before I chased him out, but once he was already across the room and thus ensued a crazy ass squirrel jumping from surface to surface as I tried to get him to go out the back door. Our dog, Foxy Brown, is absolutely useless for squirrel hunting. She would actually get scared when she heard a squirrel rattling around in the kitchen, believe it or not. The cats were not much better. Once I caught him opening the container of dog biscuits and helping himself to one, if you can believe that. Here's a picture of the fellow being unusually coy:

So basically the squirrels in our vicinity have now gotten the idea that they can do whatever they want around us. And they do, pretty much. There are regularly at least two of them hanging out in our yard and when Foxy goes outside, the may meander to the fence or a tree, but usually they just keep doing what they're doing and Foxy doesn't really care. The other day Foxy was about two or three feet from one and the squirrel just kind of kept doing his thing then ambled over to the fence and climbed up.

This afternoon I let Foxy outside and I followed onto the deck. I looked out and saw a squirrel on the ground under the tree. Foxy did walk towards it, but not with any ill intent, which the squirrel obviously picked up on as it actually turned its back to Foxy and kept doing whatever it was it had been doing. This was just too much for me so I picked up a stone and threw it at the squirrel, coming within a foot or two. I didn't want to hurt it (well, maybe...), just scare it away like it should have been properly scared anyway. Here's where things got really weird. Instead of scurrying away like you would expect, this squirrel hopped up on the fence and came towards the deck. From the fence he jumped onto another closer tree, went down to the ground and got on a log that was sitting just below the deck, about five feet from where I was standing. The squirrel hunkered down on the log and just stared at me. I suppose I could have interpreted this as the squirrel challenging me for throwing the rock at it, but I swear I saw submission in that squirrel's eyes. He stared at me for a minute or two, then climbed back up into the tree, went to a fork and lay down on his belly.

As much as I'm annoyed with the squirrels because they are getting into the inner workings of our house, I can't say I'd be unhappy if I could hand-train a couple of them. I really thought for a second today that the little guy was going to come up and see me really close up.

The squirrels are so not afraid of us that last evening we got a taste of squirrel pornography. We had been sitting on the deck for some time, cooking, drinking and eating dinner when we noticed two of them chasing around the fence and tree, playing. This kept up until they sort of stopped, looked at each other and then began a little unspeakable squirrel act. I SWEAR that at one point they changed position and did it facing each other. I SWEAR! It was actually kind of romantic.

Romance is obviously in the air because in the last four days I've witnessed mourning dove copulating, the aforementioned squirrel dirty business, robin sex, and innumerable sparrows making time with each other। I really can't remember witnessing so much animal sex ever before। I feel like Dwight Schrute. Update: I just saw two bees doing it. Seriously.

In a totally non-sexual incident, a really, really gorgeous male ruby-throated hummingbird hovered over my shoulder today for a moment. He stayed long enough for me to register that he wasn't a huge scary bug and to see his blazing emerald green back and wings.

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