Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dishing out deities on demand! Collect the whole set!
Well, actually that would be impossible. You'd always miss a deity or two ... or a thousand, depending upon how far back you want to look.
In fair weather I set my parrot, Decibel, on the front porch. The local squirrel population sees Decibel's cage as a lunch wagon, and no wonder: Given that parrots and squirrels are both plant-eating tree-dwellers, they have much in common when it comes to noms.
The summer guarantee of good eats has kept the squirrel population pretty high at Chateau Johnson. There are nests galore, and almost always it's possible to see one of those bushy-tailed seed-snatchers on the lawn. My cats don't even chase them. I don't own a dog. Squirrel life is good chez moi.
Last week we had a pesky, itty bitty hurricane. Not! We had a whopper of a tropical storm. It dumped inches of rain, and then the wind blew ferociously for about 16 hours. There were embedded tornadoes in the area.
Couldn't have been a good time to be a squirrel.
I write this because, since the end of Hurricane Irene, I've noticed a big drop in the squirrel visitations to Decibel's Diner. I've maybe seen one or two squirrels, total, in a week. At the height of Decibel Tourist Season, there can be as many as a half dozen squirrels in my yard -- noisy, cheeky rascals -- and another three or four across the street, trying to figure out how to mount an invasion.
Did the storm kill the squirrels? If so, where are the remains? To my unending grief, Snobville does not contain a reliable vulture population. Vultures are very helpful in detecting the whereabouts of deceased critters, but in this case it's a total mystery.
(Come to think of it, what happens to vultures in a hurricane? Oh, now I'm REALLY depressed!)
I'm sure the squirrel population will rebound. Or maybe they're still in hiding. It's just curious to me, that's all.
This was my first full day of school, so of course I am totally preoccupied by the noticeable drop in local squirrel population. This may sound insane to you, unless you have taught school.