Nuts

There are hidden victims to this pandemic. Some of our furry urban friends for example, have suffered. Some people believe that rats are taking over town centres, so often are they now seen out and about. I think that this line of thought is probably wrong. I strongly suspect that the reason rats have become so visible, is that their normal food sources have disappeared. People have disappeared from towns, and so have their discarded food and general trash.

I often have a handful of monkey nuts in my pocket to feed the squirrels in Bournemouth gardens. The last few days, at the spot where I stop to feed them, a rat has boldly joined them and begged for a nut or two. He’s not quite as bold as his fluffy tailed compadres and he kept back. But he gave me his best big brown doe eyes. I felt sorry for him. So I threw him a nut.

I went a different route today, for a change. So the rat missed out. And I set off so early that the squirrels further down the gardens were still in their squirrel beds. So I still had a pocket full of nuts as I strolled along the beach. The crows must have been able to smell them. Or the squirrels have passed word on across species. Either way, they were ready for me.

Normally, if you get a little too close, they’ll fly. But today, they just eyeballed me and screeched. I took a few photos. They still wouldn’t budge. So I offered them a nut each. They took the nuts from my hand. Both of them. Ballsy of them, don’t you think? Will they know better than this when we humans have a famine on and are looking for new food sources?

7 thoughts on “Nuts

    1. You shouldn’t normally see rats, unless you work night shifts. They’re nocturnal. So if they become a common sight during the day time, you can take it as read that they’re struggling.

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  1. I saw two squirrels whizzing around in the trees behind me yesterday. The grey one chasing the black one back and forth. What caught my eye first was the black one walking along on a power cable and then launched itself into the tree. The speed of those little critters jumping from branch to tree is remarkable. Each jump calculated to the nth degree.

    Crows are interesting of course and they communicate with one another. Now that you have been introduced, other crows will look on you favourably. They used to bait Duff on the deck of our last home. They would all be hanging on to the gutter cawing at him and when he started barking one in particular would make a remark and the others would all haw haw, most entertaining for a while.
    We had a crow in Vancouver who used to ride the train, his nickname was Canuck the crow. In one of his antics he picked up a knife from a crime scene. He recently went missing and they don’t know what happened to him. Apparently he was the only breadwinner of his young family and posters were put out at ground level for other crows to read.. just kidding!

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    1. Good joke!

      We do have some rather rare squirrels not so far from home. The greys are not a native species, but they’ve made themselves at home here on these islands at the cost of the local red squirrel. The reds have been limited to small enclaves, one of which is Brownsea Island just across Poole Harbour.

      The crows are local and its tough to see what would force them out. They wont stand for any nonsense from anyone or anything. Seagulls have a reputation for being aggressive, but they’re wise enough not to pick a fight with a crow.

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  2. I’ve seen rats in the daytime at the beach many times, never begging. That is a new one for me.
    Crows taking food from one’s hand is not common as well, not unheard of but rare. I had a crow that would take meat scraps if I tossed them in the yard, about twenty years ago. I think he/she could smell the meat cooking on the grill. Do crows smell?
    Some of it may be the late winter, I have a few spring flowers up but nothing that they are willing to eat. The deer are coming up to the bird feeders in the front yard and eating them empty. The white clover field in the back lot is browsed down to its roots, the red top clover that I left tall, brown and dry, is about picked clean. The beasts are in their lean time of the year, here on the hill.

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    1. We have quite a lot of early spring flowers and whatnot coming to life. Crocuses, daffs and snowdrops are all up. Cherry blossom has appeared. But the weather took a frosty turn a week or so back, which cant be good for delicate flowers.

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