Well I have returned from my teaching training and been initiated into SPIT (special program in teaching). Holy crap, that is going to be a lot of work. "You think the program is about teaching; after a few years you will be an event planner capable of catering weddings," joked the trainer at one point. Good thing I love throwing parties. Bad though that I hate schmoozing people and that is a large part of the job. I should probably make a massive to-do list and start planning. I should also clean this place; it's filthy. And stock up on food once again. Luckily I have bread and a drawer full of cheese. Unluckily, I have bread and a drawer full of cheese. I was so sure I could magically turn around my eating habits and exercise this summer, but I'm the same old person with the same old lack of willpower I've always been. This may require drastic steps. However, I'm the type of person who is incapable of deciding between options, so I might have a smorgasbord of drastic steps spread out all summer but not be able to choose what to do. Mmm, smorgasbord. Now I am hungry again. See? I'm incorrigable.
This morning so far I have sat out on my balcony enjoying the cooler morning weather, and watched a squirrel attempt to wrangle a pine cone larger than his body. I don't actually know if it is a male squirrel even; I am probably just trampling all over his/her gender. Anyway. First I saw the squirrel very high up in the tree, trying to get out to where the branches are spindly and bendy and point straight up. They were flexible enough that they would simply droop under his weight and flick him off and then sproing! up into their upright position again. This is where some huge pine cones are growing. The squirrel finally managed to get up there, braced spread-eagled across several of these whippy thin branches, and cautiously begin gnawing through part of the pine cone. You could almost read the thought process in his face when he realized that he was not going to be able to support the weight of that pine cone he had just loosed, and then whip! whomp! the cone slipped from his hands with the scrabbling sound of his claws and the resulting lightening of the load acted sort of like a slingshot ---- with the whippy branches being the elastic and the squirrel himself being the stone.
So the squirrel was partly flung, partly bounced, across part of the tree until he got to a branch strong enough to support his weight. Bounce, scrabble scrabble, bounce. Then he scrabbled his way down the tree, head first. I was impressed with his speed ---- after all, I don't climb down anything head first.
Am I boring you? This was my morning. For me, I find it relaxing and endlessly fascinating. This is how I survived so well in recreationally-backward places.
The next step in the squirrel's quest was to lug the enormous pine cone out of the brush it had landed in, but he couldn't get it very far, so he then gnawed it into pieces and carted the pieces up into somewhere in the other tree where I usually see him. Then he ate part of it, and now I don't see or hear him at all --- this immense labor must have tired him out, poor little guy. I am ready for a nap just watching him.
Hmm, I should have something more exciting to report, eh? I'm sure I will plan some adventures and get a little work done over the summer; right now I am reveling in the doing nothing phase.
Watching squirrels is great! I manage to spend hours watching blackbirds futzing around in flowerbeds because I don't have a local squirrel... but my office in OverseasPostdocPlace had a view which was regularly used by squirrels of several kinds and chipmunks (so cute! We don't have them in the UK so novelty AND cuteness meant a lot of chipmunk watching...)
This sounds an imminently reasonable alternative to daytime television, and you get fresh air on top of it. And no reruns. I too love watching the squirrels, birds and assorted critters in their 'natural' habitat. Your squirrel sounds lovely; probably went off for a nap. Sounds like a very good idea.
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