Sunday, November 2, 2008

Richard Attenborough, I Presume

It is so busy outside my window this morning. After seven years of city living, I’m used to Sunday morning wildlife consisting of laundry patrons wheeling loads down the sidewalk and kids screaming in the schoolyard. Now in suburban land, I can sit at my desk searching for my muse and stare distractedly out my window at the nonstop activity.

These have to be the most industrious squirrels I’ve ever seen – and also some of the plumpest. I blame my landlords for our obese sq
uirrels. They’re constantly putting out birdseed and such for the animals. More than once I’ve seen J in the backyard, dousing the breezeway with kernels of popcorn and the tree stump in the yard is frequently crowned with birds, chipmunks, and squirrels vying for treats. I wonder, is there a Weight Watchers for rodents? It could be a whole new clientele for their nuts and berries division.

And bunnies! Wild bunnies hopping along the sidewalk! We never had that even growing up in Millburn. As I’m not a gardener, I can go “Oohhh, bunnies!” like a three-year-old, completely free of resentment. My friends Jenn and Phil see the perfidious hoppers in their neighborhood and go, “Ugh. Bunnies.” It’s all in your frame of reference people.

The squirrels especially are all over the place. People say that the squirrels
know it’s going to be a rough winter. That’s why they’re bouncing all over the place, maniacally storing up food for the winter. Sadly, I see many of them dead in the road, not quick enough in their endeavors to survive. Honestly, it’s like Faces of Death 25: The Folly of Squirrels out there.

I guess their winters won’t be so bad after all.

There’s a squirrel that lives in the tree outside my boss’ office window. For weeks I’ve seen him flying all over the place – the squirrel, not my boss – literally flying from one tree to the next, branches wobbling beneath his tiny weight as he scurries around with bits and pieces jutting from his mouth. He’s utterly fearless and ferociously intent in his purpose.

Outside my window right now is the Mexican jumping bean sub-species of the North American squirrel. Either that or he’s a bunny in a squirrel’s form. It is Halloween weekend after all. He’s been hop-hop- hopping around the very tiny front lawn covering four to five feet per hop. He’s just leaped onto the mammoth rock in our driveway, perched like a king surveying his domain and taking absolutely no notice of the wooden carved owl my landlord has innocuously placed on the lower end of the rock. Owls? We don’t need no stinkin’ owls!

The birds fly around like I’m living in an aviary. The best of these is the cardinal who only rarely makes an appearance. I haven’t seen him in several months, not since the late summer when I moved into this suburban mania. My mother got me a ceramic cardinal to commemorate our resident scarlet mascot. Cardinals were my Great-Grandmother Pickel’s (whom my mother absolutely adored) favorite bird so there are several manifestations of it around the house. This one is mine and keeps me company during my muse explorations.

Plus, the cats can’t eat it.

Lord, it’s like we need traffic signals out there! Only somehow they managed not to collide with one another. I mean, when was the last time you saw a pair of squirrels run into each other? Can you imagine that conversation?

"Hey man, you knocked my nut out!”
“Yo, you oughtta watch where you’re goin’ man.”
“I’ll show you watchin’! Look at the dent in this nut! Who’s gonna pay for this damage?”
“Oy, stop your chattering! I’ve got nut insurance that’ll cover that.”

Of course these squirrels would have Jersey accents. Else, what’s the point?

What are you shoring up for the winter months? New clothes? A pile of TBR books? (Boy, do I have that covered!) A stacked DVR full of shows you never get to actually watch? How’s the wildlife in your area? Do you need traffic signals? Any nutty conversations in your necks of the woods?

Plenty over here to go around.


  1. Squirrels annoy me

  2. Do you have to associate us with such large vocabulary word??? In the same sentence???

  3. Yes I do. I'm trying to raise the level of communication here!!