What ever did we do to deserve all the attention we are receiving from the squirrel population of Seneca. Yes, we have bird feeders out on the upper deck, which the squirrels cheerfully insist on sharing with the birds. Yes, we have a bird bath on the upper deck, which the squirrels have claimed as their private water dish. Yes, we have the upper deck lushly planted with flowers, herbs, and some veggies, which the squirrels view as their personal salad bar. We try to make it crystal clear to the squirrels that they are NOT welcome up here. Squirrels, however, are blind and deaf to criticism, bb guns, water pistols, sarcasm, insults, and bad vibes. Really.
Observant seniors that we are, we have noticed a difference in the intelligence, behavior and courtesy of the two species of squirrel that regularly raid our upper deck:
Red Squirrels (aka Fox Squirrels) are large, with lush, red fur, luxuriant tails, bright black eyes, and a tendency to polite behavior.
Grey Squirrels are smaller than the red, rat-faced, pointy-eared, thin coated and skinny tailed, with a tendency to manic and destructive behavior and a total disregard for the niceties of co-existence with humans.
Nature being the capricious entity that it is, the grey squirrels reproduce at an astounding rate, and the reds...not so much. This is not good for the balance of nature.
We are actively engaged in furthering the advancement of the red squirrels. We shall continue, from time to time, our posting of how we are doing with this quest.
Scruffy came into our world about a week ago. Although we have a bevy of chickadees that feed on our many feeders and 'hang out' in the tall trees that surround our big 'upper deck', Scruffy was 'different'.
He wasn't afraid of us at all.
At first, we thought Scruffy was injured, and we watched him closely. But he flew, he perched, he ate and he drank.
He jsut refused to be leery of us. We could not touch him, but we could be inches away, and Scruffy would be calmly working on seeds, confident we would not harm him.
We think he is young, because of all the downy feathers he still sports, and we wonder if he is from a second hatch in this bountiful year for birds. Brave little dude! In a week we have become quite attached to him.
Early this morning, about two am, the winds began to howl, and storms blew in. The wind did .
not abate, plants were whipping on the deck, leaves were flying off the hickory trees. Today, while I cleaned the deck, I looked for Scruffy. I haven't seen him all day and I am quite concerned that the powereful winds have taken our little guy away somewhere.
Maybe this should be country song: "I love falling down old barns...." but there is something that tugs at my heart strings when viewing old barns in the country. Neglected, decaying...they were once vital parts of agricultural endeavor.
Now...what is more important than FOOD! I have been posting on Facebook a lot, and sharing my creative dinner photos there, and I noticed that there is a distinct LACK of food postings on Blogger. Hmmm.
Tonight, I want to share a photo of our dinner: we had a big salad (no photo, sigh) made with our organic greens! Then came our main course: grilled tuna! Our sides were: grilled falafel balls and broccoli (home grown, but still from our freezer), pickled beets (ours also...from the freezer),whole grain bread served with homemade hummus.
Dessert was a homemade strawberry/rhubarb pie (yes, our berries and rhubarb!) Eat well, my friends! And think: SUSTAINABLE!
This past Sunday, we were tickled pink (a lovely expression...) to host a SUNDAY DINNER for our family at our house! Oh...what to cook, what to cook??? With our family focus on local food and cooking green, and eating more veggies, less protein, we delved into our freezers and found:
turnips (from our last year's garden), broccoli (ditto), carrots (ditto), boneless skinless chicken breast and strawberry frozen yogurt. In the fridge we found: farm eggs, fresh greens, mushrooms, sweet peppers, scallions, and one avocado. On the counter we found: organic sweet potatoes, fresh garlic, lemons and a butternut squash. In the pantry: a large can of garbanzos, tahini paste, and brown sugar. We bought some fresh strawberries (okay...broke the locavore rule, but...hey!). The menu fell together:
Appetizer: homemade garlic hummus. Served with pretzel crisps and bagel crisps.
Salad: Baby spinach salad with balsamic dressing.
Crunchy bread with garlic olive oil.
Sides: FRESH AIOLI served over broccoli. Sliced, baked sweet potato...seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper. Balsamic glazed butternut squash cubes (super YUM!). Mashed turnip and carrot, seasoned with salt, pepper, butter and herbs. Grilled mushrooms drizzled with fresh aioli.
Protein: chicken breasts marinated in kefir (overnight); grilled. rubbed with crushed pecans and spices.
Dessert: Strawberry frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries and ... Cool Whip.
We are so happy that everything was fresh and good, and that we all had such a wonderful afternoon together!