Posts Tagged ‘squirrels’

Note: I have added a link to Sherry’s Salon web page in the last paragraph. I think you’ll find it is not your typical salon page.

Are we becoming England? I mean that in the best way. I think of the English as animal lovers, almost to obsession. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I am seeing the U.S. moving even more in that direction. Take one simple hour in my life today.

My hairdresser is located at a marina. Beautiful views of the harbor and the St. Johns River are right out the window. Even better is waiting for your appointment on the deck overlooking the river. But water ways with fish are magnets for stray animals. One poor pregnant cat showed up one day and gave birth in the shop (but that’s a secret). The kittens were quickly placed with customers from the shop and the diner next door. Mama kitty was spayed and was snoozing on the deck today.

Her pictures are displayed all over the shop. Today there was another picture, a digital frame flashing photos of a tiny squirrel and another cat. The shop owner took me through the story of his life beginning with the day her cat brought the tiny newborn through the cat door. That was over a year ago. The frame chronicles his move to the screened porch and finally to the outdoors, where today he has tiki bar, porch swing, picnic table with corn to share with his friends. There is even a whirligig to shoo away the hawks.

I had hardly begun my personal beautification when a guy walked in with his two-month old shitz shu puppy. We oo-ed and aw-ed over him, then talked of spiders and bats we have known in Florida.

I used to avoid going to “beauty parlors” because I felt so uneasy with the gossip and one-upmanship going on around me. You won’t find that at Sherry’s in Sanford, Florida http://www.sherryturnersalon.com/ , but you had better love animals.

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hawk9-7-0271.jpghawk9-7-0371.jpghawk9-7-032.jpgWhat began as another age-old battle between the birdfeeder and the squirrels turned into the craziest afternoon at our house. After years of frustration, one squirrel on steroids managed to scale our old pole, finesse over the guard and scarf up seeds meant for the cardinals, titmice, woodpeckers and blue jays. My husband’s answer was to buy the newest technology, guaranteed to thwart the most persistent fluffy-tailed rodent. This one required a hook, so Jerry extended the pole and reconfigured it. We filled it, made sure I could reach the hook, tested the spring that closed off food to anything heavier than a bird. All that was left was to wait and see if our usual visitors accepted the new contraption.

An hour passed. Our yard looked like Silent Spring. Then a shadow passed over as I looked out the window. There clinging to the pole was a red-shouldered hawk. We blinked at each other and I ran for the camera. I need not have run because he was there for a good half hour, staring at me, then at the squirrels eating scattered seeds below. He made no move toward them, but another hawk swooped down low as a squirrel scurried out of his way. The second one landed on the screened porch roof. They were there until I stepped outside for closer shots. Just after his screeching video debut the one on the feeder spread his wings and with a swoosh headed for a high tree branch.

Much later the smaller birds began marshalling their forces on the fence, then did fly-bys to check out the new feeding station before one finally landed. We are assuming they will get used to it and be back each day as usual. Perhaps the hawks will patrol the new feeder periodically and keep the squirrels in line. If that works we’ll just say, “We meant to do that.” Meantime, we enjoyed a spectacle in our back yard.

(In second picture above note squirrel on post behind the hawk. What was he thinking?)

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