Friday, July 19, 2013

Hey Buddy, Lend a Hand: The Squirrels of SGRT...


The next time you find yourself riding along the San Gabriel River Trail, stop for a moment atop the dam at Whittier Narrows, reach into your jersey pockets and pull out that cliff bar, ziploc full of dates, dried fruit, or whatever it is you carry for fuel. Give the wrapper or bag a good crinkle and see if this guy, or his cousin, don't come a runnin'. As you know they live all along the path, darting across it, diving down the embankment and into the rocks, crazy, confused critters that they are. The ones that live around the dam, though, are a lot less skittish and have apparently come to associate us two-wheeled demons with food.

First time it happened I had pulled out a bag of dried fruit, and was tucking into it when one little dude suddenly appeared at my feet all begging and pleading for a sweet treat. I didn't know where he came from, he seemed to just materialize out of the air. Maybe he was lying in wait, hidden, until just the right moment to spring out, looking all sweet and innocent. Second time was a Clifbar and I knew to keep my eyes peeled. Sure enough, as I was breaking into the wrapping, I see the bushy tail shown above, come running from way down below, full bore across the dirt behind the dam, a billow of dust at his hind feet, up the lower embankment, across the bike path, over the rocks and right to my feet. As you know it has been awfully dry, and I wonder if that has something to do with their brazen begging. How are you expected to say no to a face like that.

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