Thursday, September 04, 2008

Alfie and Co.

We live across the street from a vacant lot, which is owned by the people caddy-corner to us, who keep it neatly mowed and landscaped. Behind the lot is a lake, which is the reason we get a lot of interesting visitors in our back yard. Critters like large tortoises, large toads, mama ducks trailing babies and such.

One guy who has been here since we moved in four years ago (and has nothing to do with the lake) is a squirrel. He hangs out in the back yard and likes the tree just across our back fence. He also likes to tiptoe along the top of the fence. He amuses me when I am sitting at my desk.

A couple of years ago I was on the phone with my daughter, while I was sitting at my desk. I told her the squirrel was on the fence looking at me. She said that I should name him and that his name should be Alfred. Last winter, the day before a blizzard was supposed to hit, I saw Alfie in the yard with a large pecan. I don't know where he gets them, because I don't notice any pecan trees nearby, but he doesn't seem to stray far, so there must be some. Anyway, he dug a hole and buried the nut. Then, he went to another part of the yard, dug up a pecan, took it to a different location in the yard and buried it. He repeated this process several times until all the nuts were apparently in their most desirable locations. I had no idea we had all these buried nuts in the yard.

I was at a garage sale several months ago and bought a large bag of pecans, still in the shell. I thought Alfie might appreciate them. I tossed a few out and they stayed there for quite awhile. I figured Alfie didn't like nuts with human 'stuff' on them. But they did eventually disappear, so I threw out a few more. They were taken sooner than the first, so I continued tossing them. Long story short, Alfie has started expecting the pecans. He even has taken to coming to the window and looking in if I forget to toss them. Even if I do, he likes to check in. Last weekend, I was doing a workout in the living room and he decided to veg out on the chair on the porch and watch while I lifted weights. I have never seen a squirrel so laid back.

Later on that day, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Lo and behold, we had a rarely seen roadrunner in the back yard. He ran back and forth for awhile, flew up to the roof of the neighbor's shed, went back to run back and forth, then flew over to the fence and into the field behind the house.

Then, of course, we have this little mutt. Our daughter's new puppy who lives at her apartment with her and we dogsit from time to time. Including tonight. Yeah, she's getting the drift with the house training, but you can tell it was a struggle. I need to get out the steam cleaner.


Blogger KiddoKare1 said...

LOL! My kids love watching the squirrels go into our pecan tree and come back out with pecans. I've never seen them burying one in our yard though. Of course, all these kids would probably scare them away. Years ago, my parents had a road-runner that lived on their porch for several years. They had a concrete enclosure thing and the road-runner would just stay up there and watch you go in and out. LOL. And of course, the puppy is adorable!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Uh oh, if you have a roadrunner you'd better watch out for coyotes! Ok, maybe stupid coyotes, but still.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

tracy - I don't know where Alfie is putting the pecans. He takes them up the tree, but there are no obvious holes to be hiding them. And he's not getting fatter, so he must be stashing them somewhere for the winter!

jeff - If I see a coyote lurking about, I'm opening an Acme franchise.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous randy said...

I had no idea a squirrel would relax on the back of a chair like a cat might. They just seem too high strung. I wonder if they have any redeeming qualities? With free pecans, he'll be around for a while!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter has a squirrel that has been stealing golf balls from a bucket at their three hole course. Recently that squirrel made a hole in the screen, and she caught it on camera stealing golf balls from inside the house.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

randy - Well, he amuses me, if that is a redeeming quality!

anon - I wonder what a squirrel would do with golf balls . . .

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

All I can say is that Don is out in the woods looking for his balls.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

bill - Wow, sucks for him. By the way, I was working out again this afternoon and Alfie crawled up on the chair to watch. Either I just amuse him or he's trying to figure out why I waste so much energy when I could be burying pecans.

5:29 PM  

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