Lunch at the Park

Almost every day I go to the local park and do laps, climb up the toboggan hill backwards and forwards and look at clouds.

Sometimes this fellow and his mate show up. They usually perch on top of the light posts, much higher up than this but yesterday they were intent on lunch. There are a lot of squirrels in the park and yesterday one was particularly bold, or canny. He sat perfectly still, about ten feet away from this beautiful little bird of prey on top of the fence. How lucky was I to have my phone in my waist pack, and how lucky was I that they both seemed frozen in the moment of waiting. I got the feeling that the squirrel was hoping that if he didn’t move, the bird would ignore him. I got the feeling it was beneath the dignity of the bird to chase this squirrel up and down a chain link fence.

I kept on walking, leaving them to it. It might have been satisfying to see the bird catch the squirrel. They really one of my least favorite animals. The day before, one of them bit off the top of a sunflower in my garden and sat munching the seeds right on the steps in front of my kitchen window. What made me stop, put down the broom and let him have his meal in peace? Winter is coming and one can feel the air cooling, see the leaves falling from the grape vine to allow the pinkish or black grapes to finally ripen in autumn sun. Everything is in survival mode now and I must have mercy even upon squirrels.

The squirrels are nervous. I wonder how long my pair of little falcons (is that what they are) will wheel and glide over my city park. They have been a beautiful presence over the hot summer and fall. Winter is coming. Snow will fall on the track before long – but not just yet. For now there are sunflower seeds, ripe grapes – – and squirrels to eat.