Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Legendary Black Squirrel

Many of you have seen lots of squirrels before. But have you ever seen a black squirrel? These little critters are kind of rare. As far as I know you have to live in the United States to ever see one. And even then you might never get a look.

You might even live within a mile or two of these little guys and you'd never know they exist. They live in small communities and never seem to venture far from them. So far I've found them in exactly two places. I know there are more, but that's my personal experience.

I'll tell you that these dark little squirrels seem so mysterious just from their appearance. It's just that I never imagined that black squirrels existed until what is now many years ago when I finally saw my first one. I was just so amazed and excited to see that dark little figure running around my new neighborhood so long ago.

These two pictures of this black squirrel are the best I've ever taken. I was able to get these because I took a trip to a far away island where the squirrels are so numerous that they lounge around on the grass right alongside the human visitors to this strange and squirrely place. This is not a joke. It really happened.

That place has all of the major types of squirrels I've seen. And they are not afraid of humans even a little. When the squirrels saw me get out of my truck several of them came running up to greet me. I thought it was kind of creepy so I got back in the truck.

I was still able to get many excellent squirrel pictures. But I insisted on keeping my distance. I just don't think wild animals should be that comfortable with humans. I don't think it's good for them. Maybe I'm mistaken. I guess dogs were wild at one time too. Now they're our best friends. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll all have our own pet squirrels. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Old Man Of The Forest

I'd like to introduce you to Freeman. Freeman appears to be a very old squirrel of the fox variety. I guess you could say that he's the old man of the forest. He still gets around pretty well for an old man, but the signs of his age are still there nonetheless.

If you take a very close look just above his eyes you can see that the hair is just a little more gray than other fox squirrels might be. The rest of his fur also seems to be tinged with a little gray. His face has a bit of a weathered look that you might also find in very old human males.

Here's a special episode of Rat TV that features Freeman the wise old squirrel. He may not get around as well as some of the youngsters, but you'd never know it, you young whippersnapper! Videos can sometimes give us a better insight into these animals of the forest, especially the standouts like Freeman.

Take a look right behind his ears there. That is a patch of gray fur that Freeman is sporting. Also look at the top of his back and all over his tail. You can see a touch of gray all over him. I wonder how old this guy really is.

Take a look at Freeman's bent ears. I've seen old men with ears that look just like that. Sometimes these guys seem grumpy, but they really aren't. Stop and listen to what they have to say some time. They know a lot more than you do. A squirrel like Freeman could tell you how everything works.

Oh wait, I think he sees me! Hey there little guy...

"Hey there, you kid! Get off my lawn! ...Ah, wait a minute. Did I ever tell you about the time me and my brother took on five, no six, yup six other squirrels? They got too close to our tree and started running their mouths. I knocked out every last one of them, and my brother threw them in the ditch. It was one of the best times..."

Good old Freeman. I could listen to his stories for hours, but right now it's time to go. I'll talk to you later.

"Hey, you youngsters! Wash your ears or potatoes will start to grow from them!"

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Greedy Little Squirrel

I'm going to tell you a true story of a lone little squirrel and a bunch of big noisy geese. It all began at the front of the nature trail at a place called Berry Lake. About a dozen geese were milling around an as yet unknown small furry animal for some strange reason.

The geese would take turns honking at the poor little creature. Each one would move in close, then the little furry critter would let out a squeal and the lead goose would move back away. The geese all looked at the little animal with great envy, but the poor determined little creature held its ground. I wondered what the fuss was all about, so I moved in for a closer look.

And there I found a lone little squirrel hovering over what looked like a mound of cornbread. Some naughty human decided to feed these animals, and they were now fighting over their delicious prize. I didn't think this poor little squirrel had a chance at defending itself against the villainous geese. But the sweet little squirrel had a secret.

Only the little squirrel knew it, but the dainty little squirrel was really half greedy pig. Oink!

The geese only wanted their share of the yummy cornbread. But the greedy little squirrel was hoarding it, and he just wouldn't share.

When the big scary human in the creepy rat suit moved in closer the sweet little piggish squirrel leaped to his feet! The squirrel would defend his food against anything or anyone. The human was at least smart enough to keep a little bit of distance because the kind little squirrel was acting very mean and aggressive now.

But even though the squirrel was determined to steal all of the cornbread for himself, he knew when he was defeated. All of those geese, and now a rat suited human were all too much to defend his prize against. So the cute little squirrel grabbed up as much of his prize as he could and prepared to run.

Before he left, the courageous little squirrel looked up at the evil human so he could grin in triumph, but his mouth was just too full of cornbread to pull off this feat. So the sweet little squirrel gathered as much of his dignity as he could muster and he fled into the trees.

The End

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Mushroom Strikes Back

I'm coming to you from what seems like a frozen planet. That seems fitting because those Strikes Back movies seem to always start off from places like that. Hey, I talked about an old science fiction movie in my last post about mushrooms too. Maybe that gives you a little insight into the way I think.

This new adventure didn't happen a long time ago in a nature park far far away. This one was just maybe a week or two ago right around here somewhere. These mushrooms are that kind that grow on the sides of trees. In this case these mushrooms are growing on a bunch of the firewood stacked up out back.

I seem to see this type of mushroom in the winter quite a bit. I wonder if they're dead or just in some sort of frozen suspended animation. Most other mushrooms I've seen in warmer weather seem to shrivel up into nothing and disappear after awhile.

These particular mushrooms are destined to burn up in a fiery inferno in one of two wood stoves. The only real question is, which one? We may never find out until the winter of next year. This one seems to be growing short.

And I know these aren't the most beautiful pictures that have ever existed. I've been wondering lately if maybe I've lost my eye for the beauty of nature. If so then I'll definitely have to find it again this year sometime. That may be a thing that's been long overdue.

Maybe it would help if I could wake up really early and find a bird perched on top of one of these wood piles. Or maybe I should get back in touch with the neighborhood squirrels. Making friends with the local squirrels always seems to help the nature deficient.

Or maybe I could just write lots of stuff about my new found friends the mushrooms. That seems to be working for one of my good blogger friends. No, I'd be terrible at that. I'll leave it to the guy who seems to be very talented at it. My momentary diversion into mushroom territory has to be only temporary and occasional.

Now I'll have to decide what I'm going to do next. Maybe I'll sit out back waiting for the squirrels. I like squirrels.

I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Alien Fire Mushrooms

I don't usually post pictures of mushrooms, but sometimes there are things that just seem to jump right out at me, so I feel that I have to share them. While I was on a short hike at a nearby nature park a few years back I saw an orange glow off to my left in the forest.

As I looked closer that glow seemed to be coming from a tree stump. In fact, the glow was not one solid glow, but several orange glows. I wondered what it could be, but it was really too far for me to figure it out by myself. I used my camera to try and find out, and the picture above is the result. I still couldn't figure it out at the time though.

I began to suspect what was making this eerie glow in the forest, but I decided that maybe I should make sure by getting a closer look. Besides, I thought this little adventure might just make a good story for you. I think I was right, but there's something you may be thinking right now. If you're not then I'll tell you.

Usually in the movies when a guy who is all alone in the forest decides to get a closer look at a strange far off glow it doesn't end well for him. That's how it is in the movies I've seen anyway. What would usually happen is that he would find out that it was an evil skin eating alien from Uranus, or something or other like that.

I remember seeing a movie where people were stranded on a strange planet and eventually ran out of food. The only things that looked like they might be edible were some strange mushrooms. Wouldn't you know it, one of them decided to eat a few. Guess what happened.

That first person began to turn into a mushroom creature. The rest of them locked themselves in their space ship for awhile but eventually ventured out again. You know what happens in a movie like that. Each of them one by one decided to sample the mushrooms for themselves, don't ask me why, and turned into mushroom creatures.

Finally the last guy was left. He was the narrator of the movie. He resisted for a very long time. Too long in a bad movie that was done being entertaining long ago. Finally he succumbed to hunger. The last line the narrator spoke was, "I ate them!!!" Then they showed his face. He was a mushroom creature.

I guess that's why you shouldn't eat strange mushrooms that you find somewhere. Or any other strange plant. I always assume that if I don't know what it is then it is probably poisonous. And sometimes even if I think it's fine, then it's still poisonous. Remember that.

But sometimes it doesn't hurt to get a closer look at something. Chances are it won't be a soul sucking alien from Crapton 7. As long as you look but don't touch you should be just fine. And watch where you step too! There was poison ivy where I was when I saw these mushrooms. And remember that snakes could be lurking near too.

As long as you're careful the forest can be your friend. But if you don't pay attention to where you are going or what you touch you could find your worst enemy. Don't ever make an enemy out of your best friend. All it takes is a little thought. Or you could find yourself in the evil clutches of glowing alien mushrooms. It's your choice.

They are kind of beautiful though, aren't they? I wonder how they taste.

I'll talk to you later.