Squirrel Tease!

Before the kerfuffle of the clear-cutting on the Mountain I had taken these pictures of a squirrel teasing Claus.  He had Claus captivated for over a half an hour or more!  In each picture I am amazed at the squirrels apparent lack of fear.

The pictures had to be taken through our dinning room window and so are not as clear as I would like, but oh so fun!

CLICK for better squirrel viewing and for the captions:

Have a fun weekend, Ya’ll!


Friday Thoughts: defining reality from fantasy



Gently form your tongue into a point.  Now, firmly place it into the side of your cheek.



As a child I could easily suspend reality and believe that a flying bear in my dreams could sprinkle fairy dust over me, and then taking my hand float me away from my sadness.   Flying over the familiar dry fields that surrounded my home in California was an effortless and very real thing to do.   I believed without hesitation that my toys came to life when I wasn’t looking, and when a bit older, that the stories on the Twilight Zone must have some basis in truth.

Toy Story is a perfect example of this animistic view.  The sense that objects can move unbidden, for good or evil intent, is a natural phase of our growth and understanding of what is real or unreal in our natural world.  When we are very young we are certain that our toys can move and objects that scare us can come to life.  Then when we were about 7 to 10 years old we knew better, and yet, we could freely suspend reality to get into a good fantasy and believe, if for only a while, that it was true.

I am a grown-up.   And although I am certain that the truth of the matter is this:

Inanimate objects do not move or have life.

I nevertheless do imagine it at times.

And I ask you:

Is a flight of fanciful imagination now and again such a bad thing?

Disney certainly never believed it was a detriment to our maturity.

Anaisa Franco doesn’t think so either.  In her feature on the Creators Project she seeks this very thing. She brings life to her thoughts and the inanimate objects she creates through her art.

For my taste she borders on the scary side of animism, but I still like her work!

This video keeps disappearing on me, I don’t have any explanation  for it, the code just spontaneously combusts!  If it happens again, then please go HERE to view it on Youtube.   Thank you!   🙂


And so it is, that I still carry some vague notion that my little statues in the garden are somehow endued with a life that is unseen.  And although I have never really seen them move, save through the eyes in the back of my head…  I do enjoy these fantastical slips into childhood,  and then pen them to paper in my stories.

For over ten years I have had a little trio of friends in my gardens.  They are a lion I named Aslan, and a mother squirrel with baby.  They traveled almost 3,000 miles with me from California when we moved.

Over the years the little guy happily sat with his mother in the shadow of Aslan.  Knowing no fear he stood bravely by when the Big Dog came barking and growling fiercely at him and his mother.  He remained stalwart when taking insults from the other squirrels, who often pushed him over, and then waited patiently for me to come by and set him right again.

And so it was this morning, that I was taken aback when I found my little squirrel’s head laying crushed in the stone drive.

He is not real,

He is plastic,

and yet I find him eerie to look at in this state.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe was a good little squirrel and I shall miss him in the gardens.


What do you imagine happened to Rocket? 

Your version can be firmly rooted in reality or you can take the fantasy stance.   It is your choice.


NOTES: In my writing I freely use animistic, and animism to relate to my childhood feeling that inanimate objects could move under their own power, and thus had a life of their own.  In one sense of the word, Merriam Webster defines it in this way:

“[the] attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects”

Whatch’a doin?

Whatch’a doin?

A one scene play starring:

Rocket, the Squirrel

and Woody, a local woodpecker

~*~ * ~ * ~ Scene One  ~*~   _@V

Rocket:  Hey Woody whatch’a doin?

Woody:  (sarcastically) What’s it look like, Rocket?

Rocket:  Hangin’ upside down, of course!  But why?

Woody:  I’m hiding from Red!

Rocket:  You mean Big Red the Haw…

~ The End ~


NoticeNo critters were harmed in the making of this photo play.  All photos taken here on the Farmlet via my big picture window,  hence the graininess and the bad picture quality.   😉

Photo Friday: and an answer to an old question…

Ever wondered “Where do the squirrels go when they race up that tree trunk?”

Well, we took a break and went to the suburbs of Nashville on Saturday to visit Cheekwood.  It has become our go to place to visit for gardens extraordinaire!  When in California we often visited The Arboretum and walked the grounds for hours enjoying the gardens and looking for ideas to try at home.  At that time Cheekwood was a place on our list of “Maybe someday we’ll go.”  We never imagined then, that a cross country move would bring us to within driving distance of the estate.

Cheekwood was, as was the LA Arboretum, an old family estate.  Here you can stroll the grounds, go inside the home to view art on display, and enjoy the wild things that live on the estate grounds.  On this day we actually took time to go inside and saw the Faberge Eggs and other jeweled items on display.  They’ve had them on loan for five years and will soon be leaving.   (Glad we decided to go in!)   Sorry, picture-taking within the home is strictly verboten, and enforced!  But, I found you a picture of one of my favorites.  (Yup, it’s a chicken)

This is the little gift that started it all for Faberge!

You can view this and many other fine examples of Faberge Eggs here at:  HaupLight

All this loveliness is tucked away down a winding narrow road in Belle Meade.   A very exclusive suburb of Nashville.   (YES, that Belle Meade!  If you are into fine race horses then click the link for more information!)

Here is a peak of what you might find in spring at Cheekwood…

Tulips at the entrance are back-lit by the afternoon sun.


The Cheekwood Manor


Dogwoods in white and pink are all about the grounds


An ancient Eastern Redbud, happy for spring, bursts into bloom from its trunk.


Almost any path will take you by water… whether it’s the lake sized pond or one of the several little streams on the property it promises tranquility for the viewer.

And on this day…

There was preparation for a wedding…

The weatherman had predicted clouds and drizzle.

Mother Nature said, “Nay!”  and gave the Newlyweds a gift…

A perfect sunny day!


Did you think I forgot the question about where squirrels go when they race up that tree trunk? No…

Here is your answer!

Fifteen feet off the ground this squirrel lives in the hollow hole of this tree, which is located in the fountain garden to the south side of the mansion.

Oh my! I just read on their official site that over three dozen trees were damaged in the storm that went through  on the April 5th.  (The one in my previous post)  I hope the little follow and his home were spared!

Read more about what Cheekwood has to offer on their official website ~ HERE:  http://www.cheekwood.org/