January 16, 2021
Rodents of the Courtyard
Editing the Afternoon Walk images of this squirrel it was noticed its fur had many brown patches or areas on its body tinted brown. A curious find not noticed before among the small population of these creatures within the confines of the courtyard of Stone Ridge Apartment Homes. Is this discovery due to my laxing skill of observation, and only finding it upon closer observation while editing?
These brown patches were most noted around the head and ears of this creature. I wonder if I looked closer at other members of this cadre if I could identify them according to the lack of said coloring or because of it. Is 'Brownie' a proper name for this creature?
Perhaps future and further observations will reveal more interesting results. I have noticed three other squirrels within this population. Mostly when they forage and compete for what little food supplies are available. Not much chirping like chipmunks but rapid chasing, posturing, and territorial guarding of certain trees and areas within the courtyard.
Recently one of the larger and more massive trees in the courtyard has been chained sawed out of existence. A shocked and disturbing surprise brought some sadness into my heart concerning this destruction. Why? was my immediate question.
Safety? was my first response. Perhaps there was a need to take this large, formidable, shade-filled tree down and annihilate its massive limbs, and trunk for possible burning or grinding to sawdust. My emotional response of sadness could not reconcile its loss because I did not know the reason for its demise.
The squirrels were equally responsive though in a much different way. There was much scattering, scrambling, and wild scampering around the courtyard. When the crew finally left with the tree chain-sawed into chunks of wood, one of the squirrels pounded over to the stump, sniffed it, and scurried around the area as if looking for the rest of the tree.
I wonder if any of the bushy-tailed rodents of the courtyard had a stash of nuts or other food hidden somewhere in the tree? My thoughts were about the squirrels, and the why of this gone tree. This tree filled a need in the courtyard.
It provided needed shade in the summer. It was a marvelous living, breathing, and comforting presence in this small but welcome courtyard. The large trunk and huge long limbs reaching for the sky were constant wonders of the growth of trees and their unique beauty. It contributed a place of rest, food, and safety for squirrels, birds, and chipmunks. Why? discard it.
The squirrels seem to have scattered from this place. Are they looking for a new respite from humans? Will they come back and inhabit this courtyard again?
My fascination with the striped rodents who mainly stay on the ground and their bushy-tailed tree-dwelling relatives who resided in the remaining trees will continue. However, that huge gaping hole in the courtyard will be a constant sigh of sadness. Change, as usual, is the only constant in every life, in every breath ever breathed.
Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.