Wow! It has been over two months since I’ve entertained you with more tales from “Adventures From The Slab”! I looked over my previous posts and thought that I had mentioned Stymie to you. Afterall, you have seen Frick and Frack, the tobacco worm brothers as well as Sluggo. Sluggo is still around, surprisingly. Even on really cold frosty mornings he has left behind a slime trail of a size that only Sluggo can leave. The Red Tail hawk hung around for a couple of days, much to the chagrin of the gray squirrels that hang about The Slab. For reference, The Slab is approximately 8’x10’…I’ve seen walk-in closets that were bigger…but as you’ve seen it is a happening place for the usually hidden wildlife.
As I mentioned, the squirrels were all in a dither over the hawk. They spend hours running along the tops of the fence, but when the hawk was in the area they would run on the lower rail holding the boards together. They were always sending up a hue and cry with much tail whipping and yelling to one another about hawk sightings.
Stymie has been so named because when I attempted to plant some pole beans he would invariably dig the seeds up and eat them. Time after time. I eventually put a trash can lid over top of the pot (I was experimenting to see if they would grow in a huge pot) and he was thwarted, but not before he had stymied (see what I did there? Stymied?) my efforts at a crop of pole beans on the acreage. The pole beans eventually grew really large and climbed up a trellis made of panty hose with the toes thumb tacked to the fence (I am nothing if not resourceful).
I’ve been watching the squirrels for some time and became a little concerned because they have a steady diet of peanuts from one of my neighbors. I live in a development in suburbia and there are zero nut trees for these squirrels, so I started going to a nearby city park to gather acorns for them. I figured it was a great way to get outside and bonus points for providing a natural mast for the squirrels. So I am the crazy lady carrying a plastic grocery bag to the park, gathering acorns for “my” squirrels. And I make sure to get a variety from different kinds of oak trees. Yeah…I get some looks from the joggers and mommies pushing strollers. I also suspect the park is a popular rendezvous point for clandestine meetings but I’m not one to ask questions…
I put out a handful of mixed acorns and go back into the house and, along with Gracie, watch the squirrels from behind the screen door. It has taken seemingly forever, but I’ve finally reached an agreement with Stymie that I can sit outside about 3-4 feet away while he fetches acorns then scampers off to bury them.
All that to say: I now present you with the first pictures of Stymie, the overweight squirrel.
I like the crazed red eye I got when the silly flash decided to go off but it didn’t seem to faze Stymie. He will collect two of the smaller nuts at a time, and will work really hard to collect one small one and one large but just can’t do it.
I would love to know why the acorns have to be de-capped before burying. Stymie is a very well fed squirrel! He is definitely the fattest of the three that hang around and the only one that will come and get acorns while I sit outside. One other one keeps circling around me, whipping its tail, craving the acorns but won’t get any while I’m outside. As soon as it hears the screen door shut, he comes and collects acorns.