Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Officially Spring!

Hola darlings! I'm of the old school who was taught that Spring always occurs on March 21st. None of this astronomical stuff about equinoxes and vernals and equators and such for moi! So the news that spring officially occurred today at 7:something a.m. Eastern Standard Time means nothing to me. I will celebrate the First Day of Spring tomorrow by going shopping, yippee! In keeping with typical Wisconsin weather, it was below freezing for most of the day, but eeked up to about 35 degrees F when I left the office at 5:00 p.m. However, there was the wind blowing off the lake that took the temperature down into the teens with the windchill factor. Damn, it was fricking cold out there today, people! I am SO sick of this. One good little itty bit of news. Mr. Tipsy Squirrel, who had managed to survive the winter, suddenly disappeared about the end of February and I thought oh no, he (or she) must have died. This made me sad. To survive the brutal winter we had with his (or her) handicap only to succumb to death so close to better weather (well - maybe in May). I looked and looked every day, and when daylight savings time kicked in and I was able to put nuts out after 6:00 p.m. when getting home from work and it was still light outside, I looked some more. But alas, there was no Mr. Tipsy Squirrel. I did some research on the internet, but did not find a lot of information about this "falling over" disease. There are a lot of anecdotal reports about squirrels with symptoms similar to Mr. Tipsy Squirrel, with the "falling over," "can't keep balance," etc. descriptions. From what I gather, it is a neurological disease that is reported to be rare but it doesn't sound like it is so rare based upon what I read from eye-witness accounts. Lo and behold, tonight, I saw Mr. Tipsy Squirrel again! I was so surprised and so happy to see him I scared him away with my antics! Oh boo, Jan! However, he did eat two pecans right on the deck before I scared him away with my jumping up and down, so at least I know he (or she) got some nourishment after my not having seen him (or her) for 3 weeks! I could tell it was Mr. Tipsy Squirrel because of the markings around his (or her) nose, part of the tail missing, and of course, the tell-tale not being able to maintain his (or her) balance while at a standstill. I'm just glad he (or she) made it to this time of year. Hopefully the worst of the winter season is over and I will keep a sharp eye out this weekend for Mr. Tipsy Squirrel and funnel it extra pecans and almonds. I think it's eyesight has been affected by the disease it has. It does not track the flight path of nuts that I throw out for the other squirrels, for instance, and they zero in on like radar! Mr. Tipsy even has a hard time locating nuts on the deck, and sort of "bumps" into them and them fumbles around a bit until he (or she) gets the nut between its paws, and then makes short work of the shell and crunch crunch crunch, it's gone. So, I'm wondering if Mr. Tipsy has been in his (or her) nest for the past 3 weeks? He (or she) looked thinner tonight - much thinner - and old. Well, I figured he or she was older, there is just a "look" that older squirrels have that is missing in young squirrels - sort of wrinkled, almost like humans get. There is just no way of knowing, of course, short of attempting to follow Mr. Tipsy home to the nest and spying 24/7, which I cannot do. I was just glad to see Mr. Tipsy again, it cheered me up and made me feel there is some hope, after all. I cannot say the same thing for the day lilies that were so silly as to pop up along the west wall of the house, that have suffered extensive frost/freezing damage. Sigh. But the robins are very fat this year, and the cardinals are going into mating behavior (some of the squirrels are too, but then, I heard at least some squirrels making mating calls in January when it was 40 below zero F!) the blue jays have not been around much, I must put out more peanuts for them, they love peanuts! I found myself wondering this morning - why is it that my bed feels most comfortable right at the time I have to get up and get ready for work? Damn! Am looking forward to capturing that feeling tomorrow morning, when I will NOT be going into the office, even though I should... I do now understand what MARCH MADNESS is all about - without watching ANY college basketball.

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