Creatures in our Backyard - Issue #2 - Baby Squirrel

Last month I talked about Toads which you can read if you missed it by clicking here. This month I want to talk about a squirrel, a baby one to be exact.

Every night I take the dogs to the front yard and let them get some exercise and play ball. Lucy, our Chocolate Lab, and Gracie, her pit bull/choco lab daughter, love it. Nikko, our Husky/German Shepherd mix is still quite an active boy and we don't trust him to not run away when let him loose so I play with him on a long run. While I was playing with him (he also loves to play ball) I kept hearing a squirrel barking, which isn't really unusual. I thought a cat must be irritating it so I wandered closer to see which cat it was. Then I saw the squirrel perched on a peculiarly low branch only about a meter from the ground and barking its little head off. Looking about I didn't see a cat or even a snake, like I supposed afterward. The squirrel got too edgy and took off up the tree so I moved closer still curious as to what might have bothered it, thats when I saw a little gray ball moving about on the pine needles below the tree. I've seen baby squirrels before but they are usually still very young and pink and they never survive. But this one was not pink; it had short gray fur all over and the hair on its tail was white. Its eyes were still closed but it was a squirmy little thing. I found out later that baby squirrels don't get their eyes open till they're around four or five weeks old, which, compared to kittens and puppies is a pretty good while. The little thing wasn't harmed and seemed to be all right so I left it expecting the mother to come back for it. Mum and I looked for the nearest squirrel nest but the only one we could find was too far away. They say a mother might drop her baby accidentally while moving it to another nest so we figured thats what happened.

The next morning I walked out to where the baby squirrel was expecting to see it gone or (cynically) dead. We've had some disappointing encounters with little animals like that; they never seem to survive. Anyhow, I found it still there and quite alive. So what did I do? Google! "What to do with a baby squirrel." Everyone said the first and most important thing to do is warm the little thing up. Grabbing an old rag from the linen closet I scooped it up and put it against my chest. It was so cute! Then I came in and did some more research. Checking for dehydration is the next step, and after calling the vet and some other people we realized we had to make a decision. One lady told me that the mother might come back for the baby if left alone for a while and I wanted so badly for the mother to actually take it back to the nest. We decided to place the baby back where I found it and keep watch from a nearby window. Nothing... I considered giving it a Pedialyte-like mixture recommended by some people to rehydrate it, because feeding it formula before rehydrating it would most likely kill it. In the end Mum and I took it to an animal hospital where the woman at the counter told us she was expecting a hummingbird and already had another squirrel, slightly older than this one. Squirrels do better when with other squirrels so we were glad for this.

Sadly, no quality time with cute baby squirrel but now we're sure the little thing will survive. Until next time...

Book Review #1: Gold of Kings, Storm Syrrell Adventure Series, Book One


Storm Syrrell is young woman with a passion for art and antiques just like her grandfather, and when she gets a job at her grandfather's well-known business in Palm Beach she feels she has found her niche. But then her grandfather suddenly fires her leaving her hurt and confused.
Sean Syrrell sees in his granddaughter the taste and expertise he is known for himself. But a situation out of his control hands him a choice that pains him deeply: please Storm now or save her life. The former resulting in her being fired and hurt emotionally. He tells himself that she will understand in time.

Suddenly, Sean mysteriously dies causing everyone to believe it was a heart attack. On top of this new grief and having to handle the shop and its problems, a Homeland Security agent takes a baffled Storm to a large vault previously owned by the late Sean Syrrell containing startling artifacts and an old leather journal. From the journal Storm finds clues to something that resembles a new historical discovery and the artifacts in the vault only confirm her suspicions.
While still mulling over this latest surprise, a scruffy-looking treasure hound named Harry Bennett turns up as well. He tells Storm that he was a good friend of Sean's and had worked for him on a number of occasions, and that he is just as astonished by these events as she is. The fact that Sean asked him to come to Palm Beach to protect Storm in the event of his death only solidifies Storm's fears, that Sean was murdered!

As Storm delves deeper into her grandfather's journal she is left with a choice to stay and continue her work at Syrrell's or pursue the mystery that might result in a treasure previously believed to be a myth, and the answer to her grandfather's death. With Emma Webb dealing with the federal side of things, Harry and Storm pack up their gear and start the journey following the clues, which take them to Italy, France, Istanbul, and even Cyprus. All the while it is becoming apparent they are being trailed, and after two attempts on her life, Storm depends on the sharp instincts of her bodyguard, and the Interpol-associated federal agent to watch her back while she digs deeper into Jewish history and the prospect of unknown treasures.

My Opinion:

It was a very interesting read, reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. I enjoyed reading it and had a hard time putting it down, which, for those who know me, is not all that common. The action was appropriate and pulled the reader in while the history laid a sound backdrop. The characters were pretty well developed though I would have preferred a little more depth all the way around, (in character and plot). The turn out of the story was a bit surprising compared to your average novel in respect to character relationships but no less satisfying.

The story is fast moving which is good but at times I got the feeling it moved a little too fast and I couldn't get all the facts. I haven't read a Bunn novel in a few years so I can't say if this is typical Bunn or just an aspect of the book.

Also, something you read in the beginning of the book seems to imply that the character believes you can never be sure of your salvation and can only hope you have done what it takes to get to heaven, denoting a belief in salvation through works. I know some people believe this, and I don't know for certain if this is what Davis Bunn believes or even intended to imply, but based on biblical facts is false. For example:
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 -  "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began..."
  • Titus 3:5 - "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit..."
 But as for the book, I would definitely recommend it as an exciting but lighter read.

Bryson Andres - Talented Musician!

I'm not a One Republic fan but this guy plays it great. Excellent talent, excellent equipment. This is just one of the many videos of him on YouTube. My question is why is everyone not stopping to listen? Who could continue shopping when you can hear such awesome live music?!

Let Us Pray For Ramsha!

Christians tend to do a lot of talk sometimes, and it's easier to talk, but its harder to do. I'm no saint. I don't pretend to be a hardworking Christian that does all the work God calls for her. I need to hear this as much as the next person. But on the other hand, sometimes doing what is right is not much more than prayer. Today I am speaking about Ramsha, a girl in Pakistan who was arrested on the accusation of having burned pieces of the Koran. The details aren't very clear to me, but then again when is news from Muslim countries vever clear. As far as I can tell, she is a girl of sixteen with Down's syndrome. Maaria, another girl from Pakistan, said Ramsha is a girl who "picked garbage". I'm not sure what that means but either way, Maaria has made an important plea for Christians, all over the world, to raise their voices in prayer for Ramsha. She doesn't stop with "Please pray", she asks us to pray that God will raise her up on the wings of eagles, that He will intercede on her behalf.

She says, "Pray for the cell she sits in, for the people around her, for the police officers in charge of her. Pray that between her and each other person there will be a hedge of angels, a hedge of mighty protection and if anyone even dares so much as to touch a hair on the head of the little one, may the Lord himself restrain them.

"May she be nourished. May she be strengthened. When she is thirsty may Jesus himself give her drink if no one is else is willing to in this heat, if she is hungry may He give her food. When she is afraid, confused or threatened may she have an experience of Jesus and his all surpassing peace. "
She quotes, " 'Let us pray that she like Peter will see prison doors open and the way before her clear to go home'." And goes on to say, "PLEASE FRIENDS PRAYER WILL BREAK THROUGH- because he is a God of love and Father of compassion- may His compassion flow through us and His spirit guide our prayers!" 

How so! We in the west have seen so little persecution that we don't feel the need to get down on our knees and petition our Father. But times are getting worse and the only hope we will find will be found in Jesus Christ. Don't stop with small prayers, let us all ask God to do BIG things, because He can, and if we ask in faith, He will.

Fig Newton Cookies

After receiving fresh figs from the grandparents, I decided some fig newtons would be nice. But I didn't have the time to roll out the dough and do it properly so I decided to make them in cookie form. Using the basic drop cookie recipe:

  • 2 1/4 c. Spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp unground Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. Sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • Vanilla 
Refrigerate the dough for two hours. In the meantime prepare the fig filling.
  • 1 c. chopped figs
  • 1/4 c. Sucanat 
  Cook figs and sugar in saucepan for 30-40 minutes. I just turned the stove on a low temperature and put a lid on the pan, checking it every so often. 

Roll about a teaspoon of cookie dough into a ball and then flatten, pressing a hole in the middle with your thumb. Fill with 1/4 teaspoon fig filling. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. When finished they should look like this:

The actual fig filling recipe called for 3/4 c. sugar but I felt that would be too sweet and I'm glad I cut back. They tasted just right. But if you would prefer it add more. Its up to you. Your the cook. Never be afraid to experiment. That's what I always say.


Deer Fawn Comes Through Doggie Door

You never would have believed it could happen until you saw it. Deer can fold those long legs up better than you might think.

Screaming Little Darling of a Kitten

Another too cute video! Our Lizzie has had three litters so we are well acquainted with the little darlings. The funny thing about these kittens is they are so short. Its cute. I wonder what kind of cat they are. My guess is its hungry. Mr. Darcy used to do that when he was a kitten. His motto was "All for food and food for me!" He's mellowed out a little in his eating habits, thankfully.