Friday, January 22, 2016

all God's children


Did you know this has been Squirrel recognition week? Neither did I but this guy definitely convinced me to pay attention to the celebration. Must remember to carry extra peanuts to the park or I could be in trouble.

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creatures through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They’re not brethren; they’re not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.


Henry Beston, The Outermost House

and a comment from the Scots actor and comedian Billy Connolly:

“I've always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.”

18 comments:

  1. Hi Susan,
    Great photo and interesting quote from that prolific erudite writer. But I do think today there is a growing appreciation and awareness of nature’s complexity and the need to maintain habitat.
    Maybe it’s a good idea if at all possible to only feed them raw nuts native to their area. No doubt, like us, they are likely to indulge in any food not good for them because it simply tastes better. Best wishes

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    1. Hi Lindsay,
      That there's a growing awareness of our biosphere is a good thing, I agree. The problem is maintaining habitat for wildlife while our own population (with all its needs for modern conveniences) continues to burgeon.
      If I were to forage for raw nuts in the park I'm sure the squirrels would would be looking askance. The raw peanuts we carry for them (and the crows, blue jays and chickadees) are high in oils and protein and provide a treat that's far better for them than the croutons and processed cereals a number of people leave in the feeders. Like you, we try our best to do the best we can while hoping all the while for the best.
      :)

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  2. A quite beautiful quote. Thank you.

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    1. I thought of you when I found it, Tom.

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  3. I am just trying to imagine this very squirrel being a member of the Swiss army ... wearing a wee red knive.

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  4. I much prefer to be around animals than people. Perhaps I have seen too much in 70+ years.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I know what you mean, OB. There are some nice people but in the aggregate.. Meanwhile you can always count on an animal to be what it is.

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  5. Oh my. What a wonderful and complete quote. The spirit of Aldo Leopold lives on in many forms...:)

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  6. True enough.

    “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”
    ― Aldo Leopold

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  7. No idea why, but the squirrel made me think of De Niro with a mohawk....."You talkin' to me?"

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    1. Yeah, that sounds about right, Mike.

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  8. We recently were discussing the squirrels that live around the University of Cincinnati campus. Like those of us who indulge in highly processed foods, those squirrels are chunkier than average. The squirrels are fed a steady diet of junk food by the people who use the park areas for lunch - students, construction workers, employees. The big question is on the weekends, do those squirrels look around and wonder what in the heck there is to eat?

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    1. So long as they don't start mugging passersby for their weekend lunches I guess all is well. They probably need time to digest.

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    2. I should mention that squirrels here are unusually small - like chipmunks with tails. When we first saw some we thought they were babies.

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