Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brooky Bottom, a squirrel of a tale!

A few weeks ago, we headed down to Obert, NE, where my parents are buried. It was that time of year to change out the flowers in the vases on their grave to fall colors.  On the way home, we decided, or maybe it was just me that decided and Kris was along for the ride, to take the gravel roads back to Yankton.  It was all good since Kris had her Nook with the charger along!  So, we head down the gravel road.  I had my camera sitting on my lap and Kris had her Nook (nicknamed Booker) on her lap.

The first landmark we come to was the Wiseman Monument. I won't get into detail about what happened on this site. You can read about it here.  I do remember, when I was little going to this place, it kind of scared me.  I also remember what was written about what happened there, the first few times we visited the monument, has been written differently and is now, in more politically correct words. 

We headed north to the Brooky Bottom Recreation Area.  This is a development that is right along the Missouri River, and is located north of Obert. There are campgrounds, river access areas, restaurant, cabins and guessing some permanent housing in the area.  If you keep following the road you will soon come to an area with a sign that says, Kris's favorite three words, Minimum Maintenance Road, not really her favorite three words!  Not sure if some of you have ever been on one of these roads before.  If you are a little adventurous and there hasn't been any recent rain, which we all know the later to be true, a minimum maintenance road can be fun....oh and maybe a four wheel drive, although you can easily drive a car on this at times. If you are looking for a road with a canopy of trees, this is your road!  The road maybe gets plowed a couple times a year and when they plow it they leave about a 2-4 foot dirt berm along the side of the road.  It is really a pretty drive when the colors are turning!

As we traveled, the Brooky Bottom Road, I always marvel at the trees and what it must have been like to travel in this area via horse and buggy or just living in this area, back in the day.   It is an amazing place touched only by a few people that toss a beer can here and there. If you do take the time to stop, take a few pictures and have the nerve to walk over to one of the berms and look over the edge, you will see some discarded house hold items and just your general run of the mill trash. I have still never figured out why people do this.

Cruising along the road, we rounded a corner and sitting in the road was a squirrel.  I quickly grabbed my camera and every so quietly opened the door to the SUV and start sneaking up on this little guy.  I walked a few feet and snapped a couple shots, a few more feet and more shots. I finally get right up by the squirrel and noticed it is just a baby and he is REALLY scared.  It was a hot day and in my mind I am thinking that this little guy is just thirsty and overcome by the heat. I headed back to the truck and grabbed a Styrofoam cup. I peeled the sides of the cup down so it is maybe a 1/2" tall.  I then filled it with water and carried it back to where the baby squirrel was. I took a stick and gently moved the squirrel over to the cup of water. Each time I tried to do this, the little guy walked right back to me and sat by my shoe.  Poor fella.  At that point all I could think about was one of my friends from the Outdoor Campus saying, "If You Care, Leave It There!"  I tried, but he would have been hit by a vehicle, became a pet by another passer by or worse, maybe a meal, so I had to move him.  I went back to the truck and grabbed my leather gloves. As I was getting the gloves on, Kris said, "You better hurry up, because here he comes!" The little guy had followed me back to the truck.  So, I knelt down and picked him up. He fit right in my cupped hand. I then sat him up by some trees along the road. Meanwhile, Kris had set her Nook down and was watching all this. She went through the whole list of what could happen, are going to be making a trip to the hospital for an animal bite, scratches, shots, when was her last tetnus shot, and where is the closest hospital? The little guy didn't try to bite at all, but he would have scratched me with those sharp claws, if I hadn't had gloves on.

We think he either fell down the bank along the road, fell out of the tree or out of the nest and was maybe just stunned.  I sure hope he was able to find some sort of shelter or even his way back to the nest and lived to see another day.   

The funny thing about this is, that a week before, myself and a co-worker, saved a turtle on one of our walks at break time. The turtle had wondered into the street where there are a lot of semi trucks. We relocated it to a retention pond just around the block.  That following Monday, I got to work and one of the bosses had left an empty turtle shell on my desk that he had found along the Jim River.  Needless to say, I was not to anxious to tell him the story about the little squirrel!

Sneaking up on the little guy.

Getting closer.

He was so cute!