Our apartment balcony overlooks a patch of urban ecosystem. It’s a bunch of trees at the edge of a neighbor’s yard that are half dead and covered with flowering vines. My desk is by the balcony door so I sometimes join our cats in the delightful critter watching. I’m not a classy birdwatcher like my mom. For some reason it’s the squirrels that really catch my fancy. I just love their fluffy tails, bold chattering and playful romps through the trees. I can’t help but have a little lighter outlook on life after an encounter. My neighbors may very well think I’m a bit nuts if they’ve seen me chattering right back to “Mr. Squirrel.” (It tends to end up closer to Mitterquirrel.) But I don’t care. If I can find an unexpected moment of amusement, I’m not going to squander it.

I also love the hummingbirds that come to feed at the brightly colored blossoms. To me they are vestiges of the magical fairy world I believed in as a child. Rare visits from the neighborhood raccoons are a treat. Although I can’t help but wonder how they manage to survive in our urban area. If I had my way, I would weave a chain of ecosystems through all the neighborhoods. I treasure our little patch of wilderness and wish I had more time to enjoy it. Our last apartment sat in a sea of pavement and there were no squirrels in sight.

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  1. I, too, enjoy the antics of the squirrels – since Dad outfoxed them by installing a slippery metal covering on the roof of the bird feeder outside my bedroom window. (They get plenty of food from the seed that spills onto the ground and from the two pecan trees.) But what I loved most were the chipmunks, long since eliminated by the neighbors’ outdoor cat, Hider. I try not to hold it against him – save him my scraps and pet him at every encounter. But, like you, I believe in indoor cats.

  2. We have black squirrels here in this community. Some type of genetic mutation. Visitors go crazy when they see them!

    I hope your pecan trees bear a bumper crop this year. The ones you sent us in 2005 were a treat!

  3. Last night as I was parking my car, I looked up in time to see two chattering young squirrels dashing through the trees with an adult not far behind. So cute 🙂 No chipmunks here, I forget about those little darlings! Actually I recently learned that the squirrel population is rebounding here in SoCal.

    Wow, black squirrels that would be quite a sight. I( like their pecans too!)

  4. I like watching squirrels too, they seem to be having so much fun!
    I really like to see Abert Squirrels with their crazy pointed ears.

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