Monday, August 13, 2012

Friends in the yard

It's fun to walk around in my yard. Some of the creatures are too timid to be friendly, but I've definitely got a few pals out there. The entire flock of geese, about 75 or so at the moment, know me in the sense that they won't run from me. But only a few are actually pals. Remember the little one who followed me everywhere I went? I wrote about her last spring. She grew up, but never stopped that behavior. So I have a companion goose. It's fun. And of course, there's Milo, the finest goose who ever lived -- but I digress. This isn't a goose post. It's about squirrels.

There are five or six squirrels living on the property and I'm friendly with all of them. It's easy to make friends with a squirrel: just offer him a peanut. I do this all the time so the squirrels like and trust me. They'd never run away when they see me. But one thing they do intrigues me.

When I encounter one of them during a walk, he'll stop and stand on his hind legs, facing me. This position is maintained for about 30 seconds and then he continues on his way. This happens all the time. I swear they're telling me, "Thanks for the peanuts, big guy." I can see it in their stance: this is an expression of gratitude.

PS -- Squirrel facial expressions are complex and amazingly cute. I wish I could take a photo of my main squirrel friend but he's wary of cameras -- he's probably seen too many guns. We humans can be dangerous critters. Anyway, they're very cool. Anyone else made friends with a squirrel?