A whole lot of chattering is going on in the trees outside my bedroom window. A whole lot of rustling is going on below. Animals are harvesting and gathering and hiding food away for the winter. We have a special friend whom I call Itchy Twitchy. He sits on the fence above our landlord’s garbage can and munches on whatever he’s gleaned from inside it. He has (or his friends have) chewed a couple of holes in the plastic can big enough to fit through, so he has easy access to the people food in the bottom. I have found him working on Eggo waffles and chicken legs before. When he’s not eating, he’s itching and scratching. He probably has some kind of insect parasite problem. He has to do some pretty nifty acrobatics to clean thoroughly while still perched on the fence.
Sometimes it looks as if he has a belly ache from something he ate.
I really appreciate his visits. He reminds me that despite my suburban surroundings, there are other critters making a living here besides the human neighbors. Steve and I were talking about hubris and anthropocentricism at dinner again, and we keep coming back to a desire to be open to the wider world. I think my landlord considers Itchy a pest, and he keeps saying, “Yeah, I need to get a new can.” But he hasn’t done it yet. I’m not sure waffles are the best squirrel food, though. Maybe it would be better to fix the can and put out the occasional corn cob or plant sunflowers and echinacea?
I have grand ideas about saving the planet, but maybe I should start in my own back yard and figure out how to have a good relationship with the squirrels first. In other words, address my own hubris.