Scientists need to get over to my property pronto and do an investigation of what has changed in the barometric pressure. Maybe someone is just shooting invisible happy gas into my yard. The squirrels have gone absolutely beserk. (I was going to say they’ve gone nuts. Too obvious?)
The critters have been a joy to watch this past year as we moved into the little house in the big woods. Well, little house in the heavily-treed neighborhood is really the case. This probably was a patch of woods fifty or sixty years ago. Now it’s fifty houses mixed in there too.
The squirrels, chipmunks, birds, raccoons, and turkeys have provided endless enjoyment for me. I have yet to tire of their amusing antics. They seem now to have become turbo-charged.
The first falling of the acorns led to a mess on my porch and a fury of activity in the front yard. I watched the squirrels whirl around the grass like they were in a coked-up frenzy. The frenetic scurrying, the darting back and forth, the spinning in circles made me think of cartoon animals on warp speed. It was that unreal. I should have video taped them.
Now it appears the initial high has past. The first batch must have been laced with something that now they can handle a little better. The advent of the addition of walnuts has increased their joy. The squirrels hang upside down, holding on to the tree bark with the back claws, while they devour their nut with their two little front paws holding the prize.
The little chipmunks are in heaven too. They zip around the yard with their bounty and, I am pretty sure, a wink and a smile.
It cracks me up how they startle. I will be outside and unwittingly sneak up on a squirrel or chipmunk or turkey. They will stop suddenly (the turkeys scramble away) and we make eye contact. I smile and laugh and tell them it’s okay. They have the right of way. Go on, get moving.
I had a stare down with a squirrel the other morning. Seriously, I said out loud: “It’s your turn. Go.” He nodded quickly (or maybe I imagined that part) and then skidaddled off the path and onto a tree.
This week, it’s like the animals are juiced up on 5-hour energy drinks. Their gravity-defying moves are amped up like I’ve never seen. The around-the-tree chases are faster than ever before. Sometimes there are two or three squirrels going around so fast that they make me dizzy.
The squirrels have entertained me all summer leaping from tree to tree. Now the circus act feats have been taken up a notch. The leaps are bigger, bolder, and even more daring. Here goes one now. Leaping from the roof of the shed into a far away tree! He made it!
Maybe they are auditioning for a new squirrel reality show. Maybe it’s just the change in season. Maybe there were more calm and serene yet playful still because it was just too dang hot this summer.
Perhaps the cooler weather has unlocked their brakes and they will now go full-tilt until winter. I do not know. I simply enjoy the show.
(Kelly Epperson Simmons is a former IRS agent, now an agent of joy. Get Kelly’s free ebook “7 Steps to Happy Right Now” at www.joybeyondyourdreams.com.)