M-L writes on New Year's eve day:
I just spent about an hour taking pictures of Missy and Jackie and tried to get a closeup of Jackie's beau. It is frustrating to take pictures of squirrels who don't stay still long enough to get a shot. I have lots of pics of empty spaces where a squirrel was a second ago or pics of the tail end of a squirrel moving out of the frame.
At first the big fir tree appeared empty, then I saw a leaf drop to the ground. Look up and there is the red squirrel on a branch tossing off dried leaves. Weird, but perhaps making a point that fir trees are for red squirrels to hibernate in and the grey and blacks one shouldn't get any ideas about nesting in her tree, even this late in the season. After standing for a while longer under the fir, some branches started waving-- here comes Missy on the run. A few seconds later, there is a whirlwind in the fir tree. Jackie and her beau are chasing each other through the branches, then run into the ancient overgrown cedar hedge and on to another yard. Same as human teens on a warm day, just a different species.
After a visit and something to eat, Missy climbed her tree and took off over the branches and onto the roof and disappeared. Jackie sat on her nesting box and looked for her lad. He was running across the back of the yard on a power line, through another hedge and away. Lots of mumbling from Jackie when she saw this and she sat grinding her teeth for a while. Men!
Which brings me to the best man in the world. Oscar. I hate New Years Eve. It makes me think of all the things I did wrong over the last year, which reminds me of all the things I have ever done wrong in my life, and in 10 minutes I am despondent. But this was the year of Baby Squirrel Oscar.
Setting alarms for feeds, warming up puppy milk replacement to be fed through a syringe, washing a hairless then furry little body after a feed as all babies make a mess when they eat and stimulating a little squirrel bottom to pee and poop before back under the fuzzy blankets and heat lamp to sleep.
With two weeks to show the squirrel expert he was viable, he completed the Infant Squirrel Stimulation program devised by his foster mom with flying colours.
Next he went on to Squirrel Boot Camp run by his foster aunt to build muscle through lots of new exercises and new solid food. Then off to squirrel school for a few weeks where he met Missy and Jackie.
Finally, all three to the inner sanctuary for socialization with Honey and the fun of fresh leaves for nest building, climbing on branches and enjoying twice daily freshly chopped apple, banana, sweet potato, avocado, red grapes, green beans, snap peas, snow peas, spinach and broccoli followed by sunflower seeds topped with almond, walnut and cashew pieces as a treat.
So thank-you Oscar for being you and enriching my life.
Amen to that, M-L. Oscar enriched so many lives.