The view from my cup…Stubbs the squirrel. Vivid orange maple leaves provide camouflage for peanuts on the deck. Leaves that yesterday drifted softly to the ground, today plummet like orange wet missiles. Stubbs paused to drink from a leaf bearing water like a tiny bowl. Then off he raced, up the deck railing in search of peanuts. Last week he ‘buried’ a walnut on top of the grill cover. I suppose in his mind it was sufficiently covered, since he raked all around it with his tiny paws. And so it sits, waiting retrieval later in the season, or for a strong wind to dislodge it, only to be reburied later.
Stubbs, so named owing to the missing last couple inches of tail, has spent the morning chasing his two buddies at breakneck speed around the yard, up and down the pin oak, along the fence and across the deck. A buddy with a distinctive double ringed tail, dubbed Ringo, sauntered along content to eat spilled birdseed under the tray feeder. The tray has proved generally elusive for the grey yard rodents. That has not lessened their acrobatic attempts to breach the gap from tree to tray.
Our grocery budget now includes seed, suet and peanuts. The shed is home to numerous twenty pound bags of seed, cases of suet cakes, a feeder awaiting a fresh coat of paint, and bags of thistle for the tiny birds. This in addition to the mower, power washer, weed eater, and assorted ladders, tools, eight bags of charcoal, a half whiskey barrel with kindling, a bicycle and various other shed dwelling items.
But always nearest the door are our animal supplies. While they are hunting and gathering, we are buying and feeding. The cycle of life, it seems.