Monday, March 12, 2018

Ravenous Camellia Monster

Yesterday was yet another day it was supposed to rain...with very little rain...and yet another day I could have walked the LOOP but didn't. I don't know why I ever pay attention to the weather report. I should just do what everyone does in this land of unpredictable precipitation -- go about my business while armed with an umbrella.

Olga and I got out for another long walk in the morning, this time northward through Childs Hill. The daffodils were out in force at Fortune Green. (Yes, I've basically taken that picture before.)

Then we came home and hung around the house. We watched this squirrel sitting on the next-door neighbor's wooden rose trellis. See that bright pink thing in its hairy little paws? That's one of the buds from the camellia bush behind it. The little monster is eating the flowers before they even have a chance to open! If I were the neighbor I'd be annoyed, but it's not my bush.

I've been vowing to read more YA fiction, to keep myself professionally relevant, so this weekend I read "The Maze Runner," by James Dashner -- and I have to say it was good. I'm not sure it entirely made sense, but as long as you don't apply adult standards of physics and believability it succeeded admirably. I'd recommend it to a kid, absolutely -- not that they need my recommendation for that book, because they're all reading it anyway. (I should probably make an effort to read less well-known stuff.)

Olga and I went to the Heath in the afternoon, and I succeeded in wearing her out completely. When we came home she collapsed, and Dave and I watched the first two episodes of the newest season of "American Crime Story," about the killing of Gianni Versace in Miami Beach. I remember that episode well -- I was living in Florida at the time and occasionally drove down to Miami for a weekend, so I connected with the crime geographically and culturally. Andrew Cunanan stashed his stolen truck in the same parking garage where I used to park! Anyway, a truly horrible story and one that seemed to take the shine off Miami Beach for years to come.


Jennifer said...

What a great picture of Olga and the daffodils!

As to the squirrel...well, they have to eat too!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"I remember that episode well"...That's hardly surprising as you just watched it last night!
(Only kidding)
I watched the first episode on Friday night in my hotel room in Southgate. I thought it was put together brilliantly - great television but also disturbing because of Cunanan's deranged hero worship. Darren Criss played that part superbly in my humble opinion.

Vivian said...

If you put out a bowl of dry cat food, the squirrels will eat that instead of rose buds. But like Jennifer wrote, squirrels are rose bud-eaters by nature, because that's the way the big DoG in the sky made them.

I recently became the manager of our local library's used book store and I just started to weed out the over-flowing shelves of YA and young reader chapter books. We hardly ever sell a book to a kid, probably because nobody wants to go through all those books (which seem to be shelved randomly). So I've been vetting each one, to sort them into subject categories and to throw out any book published before 2000 (unless it's science fiction or historical fiction). To a kid today, the year 2000 is Olden Days. In the 1990s you could get away with writing a book about how a girl wants to play baseball with the boys, but these days that subject seems passe. I tossed three different authors who wrote about enchanted doll houses. I kept all the old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books because adults buy them (for themselves).

Ms. Moon said...

I wonder if camellia bud eating is just a thing for English squirrels. Please don't tell Florida squirrels about it. They already get all of my pecans.

Red said...

Flower buds are highly nutritious so that's why the little beggar is eating flower buds.

ellen abbott said...

that is one fat squirrel, I believe fatter than the three who think my bird feeders are their personal buffets.

so did you read all the Maze Runner books or just the first? my daughter has the boxed set.

The Bug said...

I read the Maze Runner book & I enjoyed it, but decided not to mess with the rest of the series (at least for now). It reminded me a bit too much of the Divergent series, which I already thought was a step down from the Hunger Games, which ended up really annoying me in the end. I think I might have a problem with teenagers in peril - sometimes I think they deserve to get whacked (no, I did NOT say that!).

robin andrea said...

Love these two photos. That squirrel is a chubby little scavenger. I always pay attention to the weather forecasts, checking Weather Underground all the time to see if it's safe to venture out for a few miles of walking. Interestingly with all technology, they still get it wrong.

Catalyst said...

That row of daffodils is amazing!

Sharon said...

I love seeing those daffodils so thanks for another great photo. The weather reports are usually wrong here too.

jenny_o said...

From the title, I thought Olga had taken up eating camellia buds!! Here it's the deer who could be called "ravenous rhododendron monsters" ... those buds were gone early in December. I love the squirrel picture - that little dot of pink really stands out.

Our weather forecasts are surprisingly accurate. It helps with planning outings, that's for sure.

Allison said...

Is "A Wrinkle in Time" showing in your theaters? There has been a lot written about the adaptation of the book in the major newspapers. I think I won't like it much, the book is so firmly imprinted in my brain. Do your kids still read it? It's from the 60's so it's really old, but oddly timely for these political circumstances.

Steve Reed said...

Jennifer: Well, that's true, I suppose, but they never seem to eat the RIGHT things. For me, anyway!

YP: I agree! The acting is good and the production values are remarkable.

Vivian: We tried the feed-the-squirrels-to-keep-them-off-the-plants method. We actually had a squirrel feeder for a while, but the squirrels chewed it up! We have BIONIC squirrels here. I'm glad you're getting a taste for weeding books! I don't strictly follow the date rule -- some books are more timeless than others -- but yeah, many stories from a few decades ago seem incredibly dated now.

Ms Moon: I never saw it in Florida! Maybe the squirrels here are hungrier?

Red: I did not know that! But it makes sense, I guess -- kind of like eating an egg.

Ellen: Just the first. I usually don't have much patience for series. I read the first one or two books and then move on to something else.

Bug: Ha! You DID say that, and I agree! LOL!

Robin: I thought weather was always the same in California! Guess that's just LA. :)

Catalyst: They ARE beautiful, and they come up like that every year.

Sharon: Another place where I would expect the weather to be fairly constant -- though I know you get your rains from time to time.

Jenny-O: I guess your deer and our squirrels all suffer from a lack of options in the winter!

Allison: I think it's out here. I LOVED that book as a kid, but don't remember much about it now. It still gets read and in fact we have multiple copies in our library. (If a book wins a Newbery medal we keep it permanently. I think we have all but about two of the Newbery winners going back to the 1920s.)

37paddington said...

I remember my son said the book was much better than the movies!