Slowly, day by day spring creeps into the world. The trees, just a few short weeks ago were barren, branches reaching skyward in their emptiness, waiting for a sign from the heavens that it is time to allow the life inside to burst forth. Small buds and sometimes flowers poke their tiny green or white tips out from inside their winter home searching for the life giving warmth of the sun.
I’ve heard it said that squirrels are just rats with better PR. This time of year they are so busy scampering about, digging up tasty treasures hidden so many months ago. They frolic freely in my naked back yard. I left an old outdoor cushion in the yard for them. White fluffy material bursting out of the rotting fabric, perfect for nest building, is my gift to the next squirrel generation.
I love squirrels. Maybe it is because I have never had them do damage to my home, or maybe it is because I have a soft spot for most small rodent type animals. I don’t want them living, uninvited, in my home, but I do find their little faces perfectly adorable. So instead of having them as pets I welcome them into my backyard.
To get a cute fix, I follow folks on social media whose accounts are full of pictures of their pet squirrels, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc. I have loved cute cartoon type images of mice since childhood, so this current fetish is nothing new to me.
Pet squirrels are usually the result of an abandoned baby, successfully rescued and raised by a new human family. They do the cutest things and I think, “I wish I could have a baby squirrel.” Then the reality sets in. I look at my dog. A terrier. My imagination takes over and the end result is quite tragic.
One such account is This Girl Is A Squirrel on Instagram. Jill, the squirrel, lives quite a nice life and is even potty trained! Who knew?! Her owner adorns her with cute hats or clothing for special celebrations or holidays. Jill loves cuddling with her “mom” while she works on her computer; a little tummy or cheek rub doesn’t hurt either.
But, as long as I have my dog the squirrel population of 2434 (my nickname for our home) will not be permanent. Maggie views squirrel chasing as her familial obligation. She lies in wait from the stealth security of the house, waiting for those little fuzzy rodents as they make their way along the backyard superhighway. Fences, so thoughtfully designed and built, provide just the right path from tree to tree and yard to yard for these agile little critters. They can easily go most anywhere they want and not make themselves vulnerable by doing this on the ground.
We have red tail hawks nesting in our area now as well. I have seen them nab a wiggly snake of out yard, but fortunately have never seen them grab a squirrel. I know it happens. I’ve just been blessed by not having to witness it up close and personal. There are stories of the hawks also grabbing small dogs, a fact I am ever so aware of each time Maggie wants to go outside. She is way to heavy for a hawk to carry off, but they don’t know that, so I remain vigilant.
All of these wonderful things are just another part of God’s perfect plan. Seasons come and go. We look forward to those delightful reminders of what is about to happen next. We all love some seasons more than others, but I think the secret is finding something in each season to look forward to. It is all a gift. God created the world and He put us here to be the top dog so to speak. In traditional Biblical language God gave us dominion over the earth and everything on it. We are to be the caretakers of the earth. Not in a tree hugging, no humans allowed kind of way, rather we are to use the resources given so that we can sustain life and live comfortably while at the same time taking care that we do no harm.
Until tomorrow, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!