The Squirrels have disappeared from Washburn Fair Oaks Park…

For several weeks, I was looking for the little jokers who have populated the small park from where I have shared many original photos of over the years. [Wow. That was a long convoluted sentence. I don’t even know how to punctuate that.]

Last week, I saw a small body flattened in the road next to the park. I cringed and spoke aloud to myself. Another is gone. The park has an eerie feel. Empty of frolicking jokers, who were like my friends through literally all-kinds-of-weather. They seemed to like to pose and show off for my camera.

As it is finally spring, they would surely be running and hopping and chasing once more? Yet I have a sense of doom, as I have not seen them in the old growth trees.

Today’s walk in the sun and beauty of the blossoming trees made me all the sadder for their disappearance.

Several weeks ago a shadow flew high above the house across the street. A falcon or a hawk? Yes. Last year I had seen a juvenile hawk clinging to some vines on my next door neighbors’ garage. I speculated, could that be the reason for the squirrels vanishing? I checked and read that hawks do eat squirrels. Falcons eat small birds.

I have spent so little time with people in the last year and a half, that these squirrels were some comic relief through the pandemonium of these trying times and Covid.

On a Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I saw one lone squirrel hanging out with two large crows on a park bench. The squirrel just bounded away unconcerned. On May 5th, a few days later, I took a picture of him. He’s large in size so I guessed that he’s a he.

Last of the Squirrels – Washburn Fair Oaks Park – May 5th, 2021

After I did my neighborhood walk around, on the way back, I saw a smaller squirrel running across the street into the park! I was briefly hopeful.

Yes, squirrels are rodents and are known to be pests for many reasons. Still I miss the antics of these humble companions.

Flowering tree – Whittier – Minneapolis CKatt 5-5-2021

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a good week wherever you may be.

Peace

Post Script: From November 23, 2020 here is a photo I took in the park of the shadow in the sky. Predator on the hunt.

Hawks above Washburn Fair Oaks Park – November 23 2020 CKatt

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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17 Responses to The Squirrels have disappeared from Washburn Fair Oaks Park…

  1. mydangblog says:

    We just discovered that the little cheeks had found their way into the cupboard where I’d hidden the bag of peanuts. I don’t begrudge it a bit–they’re all looking lovely and plump right now:-) So sorry your park is currently sans squirrel.

    • kunstkitchen says:

      Yes. Me too. Synchronistically speaking, I saw a special on birds. Hawks are known as the stealth bombers of the birds. They reach 200 miles per hour as they dive for their prey. No squirrel has a hope of fleeing that kind of speed. The one squirrel is still hanging on so far. He lives on the North side of the park and hides in the alley behind a large house across from the park.
      Did your jokers get into the house? Am i under standing you correctly? Oh those devils!

  2. I love having wildlife around especially when we had 75 acres. All creatures can be so entertaining except for when the coyotes moved in and started stalking our deer 😦

  3. anne leueen says:

    We watch the squirrels that come to snack on the seeds dropped from our bird feeders. There are black ones and grey ones and a rather belligerent little red squirrel. I know that they run out onto the roads and get killed but fortunately not on the road that goes past our house. We have some axel breaking potholes so that slows people down and the squirrels have a better chance. We also have chipmunks who hibernate over the winter and then reappear in spring. I do hope you will see more squirrels. Nature can be so hard and the squirrels are so endearing!

  4. leggypeggy says:

    I’ve always liked squirrels. Australia doesn’t have squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons or opossums. Luckily we do have a lot of other interesting creatures.

  5. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    Squirrels are my friends and I’ve rescued a number of them, even one that needed vet care with neurological damage after running into a tire of a passing car and being flung into the pavement! He lived happily for about four more years in a giant oak tree on my property until he became slower and time or previous damage left him vulnerable; then a hawk took him out! He would come right to me like some of the others did and do to get a peanut or let me touch them, while I talk to them!

    I kicked myself over that one wondering if one day when he was clinging to the side of a tree and I spoke to him if I should have taken him in at that point as a sheltered animal in need but then I thought how a caged life wouldn’t have been a happy one even if he did love me, and I did help him to go on and live those four years which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t intervened; he lived free then died free! That day clinging to the tree at my eye level I guess served as his thank you and goodbye because he never showed up again! But a hawk did and was up in the tree a couple of days later in the exact location where we said our goodbye! At least we were good friends for a time!

    Very nice posting and perspective you give!

    • kunstkitchen says:

      Yes, they are very bold. One day in summer, I had baked a pie. The window was open with a screen in place. Suddenly one of the squirrels was clinging to the screen trying to bite a hole in it. This little joker had made a good start on a hole, when I interrupted this mid adventure. Thank you for sharing this touching story of your friend the rescued squirrel.

      • You’re welcome! And I enjoyed your story as well; very nice park! I’m no trespasser but if I was going by and smelled that baked homemade pie, you may have had to give me a piece to make me go away!

        But seriously they are very persistent and tenacious little buggers, and I used to be annoyed with some of their destructive issues; then I realized trying to stop them completely is an exercise in futility, so I learned to live cooperatively with them and accept some adjusting on my end of the situation! See that; they trained me well, I make a good pet human! Actually a sugar daddy or maybe Santa Claus with the thousands of dollars I spend on them along with all the rabbits and birds that invade my property daily! I don’t mind though, I enjoy nature more than not, so its a win win! Matter of fact this reminds me I need to get to the hay and grain store to purchase about 100 dollars of seed and suet supplies to keep stocked up for them over the next few weeks; and a new arrival as of last night, a ground hog that set up camp on my property last year, she loves the berry trees and roots or grubs that are plentiful along with seeds I put out.

        Have fun with your nature too, but baking pies you’d be best to not advertise, maybe closed windows while that’s going on or eat it quickly and store the rest, that’s how I do it, my sweet tooth won’t allow anything that tempting to sit around anyway.

      • kunstkitchen says:

        Enjoy your enthusiasm for the critters! Nature, wildlife could use a break these days thanks for stopping by.

      • You said it right! Truth be known they get beat up fiercely by we human beings over all! They sure deserve all the breaks they can get from us! That’s why I’ve rescued many wildlife animals not just domestic ones I happened upon that were in trouble! Been doing it for many years now and glad I did!

      • kunstkitchen says:

        Keep up the good work.

  6. Squirrels are my friends and I’ve rescued a number of them, even one that needed vet care with neurological damage after running into a tire of a passing car and being flung into the pavement! He lived happily for about four more years in a giant oak tree on my property until he became slower and time or previous damage left him vulnerable; then a hawk took him out! He would come right to me like some of the others did and do to get a peanut or let me touch them, while I talk to them!

    I kicked myself over that one wondering if one day when he was clinging to the side of a tree and I spoke to him if I should have taken him in at that point as a sheltered animal in need but then I thought how a caged life wouldn’t have been a happy one even if he did love me, and I did help him to go on and live those four years which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t intervened; he lived free then died free! That day clinging to the tree at my eye level I guess served as his thank you and goodbye because he never showed up again! But a hawk did and was up in the tree a couple of days later in the exact location where we said our goodbye! At least we were good friends for a time!

    Very nice posting and perspective you give!

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