Up until this past week, I hardly saw any wildlife at all, with the exception of some lizards, and this one squirrel that I encountered on the dirt road. But lately, this squirrel has been hanging out on a fallen tree right behind my camp. I think it found some food scraps (mostly vegetables) I’ve been tossing in that general area, and seems to have decided that more food may show up soon.
l have mixed feelings about my new neighbor. On the one hand, this little fella is really cute and fun to watch. He seems to feel relatively safe around me, and sometimes I’ll see him perched on the log, watching me putter around my camp. Oh, and it’s absolutely adorable when he sticks his head into this half-lemon that he seems to keep stashed away in a little hole (pictured above). On the other hand, it was a reminder of how easily I can affect the environment around me, and in ways that may not necessarily be beneficial. In this specific case, this squirrel seems to have come to expect tasty and easy human foods, when he should be running around collecting acorns. I’m also concerned that his diminished fear of humans will make him an easier target, should he encounter other humans.
Fortunately, I have yet to encounter any other humans around my property. There were those gun shots I heard, and I thought I heard voices off in the distance one recent evening, but otherwise I’ve seen few signs of humans. The dirt road that I use to ferry supplies between the paved road and my property is shared by a number of neighboring parcels, but even that road hasn’t seen any other human traffic in the last couple of weeks (judging by the tracks left in the soft dusty surface), so I’m pretty pleased about that.