Monday, September 7, 2015

breakfast branches

In the predawn brightness, a small herd of squirrels bulked up today in the Tree of the Hanging Squirrels across the street. Like a group of jabbering children surrounding the breakfast table, they skittered from branch to ever-thinner and more succulent branch, nibbling and somehow exulting.

The whole of it is a morning ritual, a ritual that precedes a coming fall, a ritual that has a beginning, a middle and an end, as if some school bus were coming and they could not afford to miss it. After 15 or 20 minutes, they have disappeared and the Tree of the Hanging Squirrels is once more still.

Do the Japanese maple shoots taste like Pop Tarts to the squirrels? Do the squirrels, when conferring, comment that "it tastes just like chicken?" No matter -- this is their watering hole, their place in which to reinvigorate their energy and exultation: Imagine that! -- hanging upside down from time to time in order to reach out-of-reach sustenance.

A nice day is coming, but I think the squirrels would be there even if the day promised to be nasty.

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