Monday, November 23, 2009
Squirrels Return to Belltown!
The 3rd & Vine Building, squirrel residence.
OK, it's not exactly the swallows coming back to Capistrano, but what I initially thought of as an anomaly is becoming a trend. It's not quite a tradition, but it's getting there. Those of us living in Belltown know how devoid of wildlife it is. We have birds. Sure, there are the usual urban birds: pigeons, crows, seagulls, sparrows and the occasional misguided robin. But as far as animals go, there are mice and rats, but not much else. For me, squirrels represent real, honest-to-goodness wildlife.
First off, anyone remotely familiar with this blog will know that I like squirrels. They're amusing little creatures. Some consider them pests, others consider them dinner, but I just like to watch them run around. The closest place to watch our little bushy-tailed friends in action is Denny Park, which actually isn't in Belltown. However, last winter there were squirrels all over the neighborhood, including one camped out in the tree outside my window here at 2nd & Blanchard. As spring came, the squirrel sightings became more infrequent until I dismissed them all as hallucinations. The squirrel population seemed quite content at Denny Park for the summer. But just last week, as I was walking near 3rd & Vine, I spotted this little fellow:
This is where last winter's squirrels were based, and since there's no such thing as just one squirrel, I'm thinking there must be others. I don't know whether they're in the actual building or just hanging out around it, but they're definitely back. Most squirrels are naturally twitchy and tentative customers, but this guy in the picture makes them all look calm by comparison. It's quite understandable. I mean, he's in a completely hostile world with cars and pavement and swift death around every corner. Even for Denny Park squirrels, prospects are pretty grim. But the Belltown population has it a whole lot tougher. Maybe if you're in the area and you happen to have a few peanuts handy, stop by 3rd & Vine to say hello to the agile rodents. If they're not around at the moment, leave those few peanuts for them in a spot where their sworn enemies, the crows, can't get at them. So yes, I'm urging you to feed the squirrels. This time of the year, they can use a little help.
(Cross-posted at Inside Belltown)