Sunday, February 5, 2012

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's a fellow I met yesterday. There were lots of squirrels in the lower part of the Denny Park, probably because of all the heavy equipment in the center of the park. Anyhow, there was something kind of odd about this guy. His ears seemed small and kind of "chewed on." It wasn't until he turned around that I saw the cause:

So yeah, he had this pretty nasty wound on the back of his squirrel-head. I have no idea how he got it, but it looks like he was nabbed by a predator and escaped. I'm just trying to imagine what got hold of him - a hawk or maybe a dog or a cat? It couldn't have been an owl. There aren't any owls within the city limits, right? The injury itself didn't seem to be causing him any trouble. In fact, although smaller, he was really quite dominant and territorial. All the other squirrels who approached got growled at or chased, leaving him in charge of the tree. In the developed confines of Belltown, it's difficult to imagine the drama of nature playing itself out like this. It's easy to forget that there are predators and prey so close to our urban centers, instead of there just being a broken food chain with us on top and an array of scavengers to snap up what we don't want. It all goes to show what I've been proclaiming all along: not only is nature trying to kill us, but it's trying to kill everything. And it's always devising new and innovative ways to do it. This squirrel was lucky, but I can't help thinking about how many Denny Park inhabitants haven't been as fortunate. And of course, the greater concern for the population isn't predation but the three busy streets (and one not-so-busy street) that surround the park. Just about any other animal negotiates traffic better than squirrels. They scramble, change directions, stop and scramble some more. I'm convinced that they can't actually think while they move, which is why they stop so often. Still, in three years of visiting the park, I haven't seen one dead squirrel on any of the surrounding roads. In that time, on just my block here at 2nd & Blanchard, there have been two squirrels killed. Yes, very sad. Anyhow, pardon my rumination on this grim subject. I'm sure that this wounded little fellow will be fine. I plan on looking for him in the future. I'll post more pictures of him in the coming weeks. Until then, here's a quasi blurry shot of him:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a bit of philosophy geared to our locality. Thanks.