Travel Beyond San Antonio, & About Squirrels: Part 3 of 3

Fortunately I am very flexible with certain parts of my travel plans. Rain has a way of doing that to you also! I thought I was hopping on my bicycle and later in the day heading to a state park. I also contemplated riding the local bus to downtown San Antonio, but I had already seen the Alamo and downtown San Antonio on past visits. (If you have never visited the Alamo and the downtown riverwalk, you should visit.)

Travel on! None of that was happening, so I had a plan B. Plan B: if the weather looks good I would stop at Guadalupe River State Park. And if the weather turns to rain, then drive on to Fredericksburg. Rain … bummer … so plan C … go directly to Fredericksburg. The drive through the hill country of Texas is actually very pretty, but Fredericksburg is quite the tourist town! It seemed like I saw no one on the road and then saw everyone on Main Street in this town! So many wine tasting rooms, shops selling hats, clothing, jewelry, jams and honey butter …. with tasters of every item, bakeries and restaurants. I did like the old buildings where the front wall was kept and there were historical markers on the buildings. I like seeing us not forget our history so quickly.

Photos of Fredericksburg store fronts & signs:

Hospital and now a kitchen store
Here you can taste every butter, jam, jelly, cheese, etc … popular place!
National Museum of the Pacific War

Squirrels … Back at the Campground!

Wow, these are the most industrious squirrels I have ever spent time watching! At first I thought the campground was overrun with them, but decided the great-tailed grackles are more numerous. The squirrels run head-first up a tree and down a tree, jump from branch to branch, climb out on some flimsy branches; all entertaining to watch. They gather their acorn, dig a deep hole, bury the acorn, truly cover it over with dirt and add any extra dead leaves, then bound off quickly to another spot or tree. By 10 am they are definitely done in this area. I have no idea where they all go, but they are back in the evening before dark and again the next mornings. One morning after the squirrels and grackles were not in the area and while I was working at the picnic table on my laptop, a couple of Egyptian ducks stopped by. A couple of days earlier I saw them at the pond here and I wondered if they are resident ducks. I need to ask someone.

Here are the squirrels in action:

The Egyptian ducks that walked by my site:

Egyptian duck

Here is a grackle:


Squirrels Should NOT Be Fed by Humans!

Squirrels, as with other wild animals, should not be fed any food from humans. You may find it enjoyable to feed them. The squirrels run toward you for the bread crumbs, peanuts, crackers and whatever else you are feeding them; then they scoot away to only run back for more food. However, please know the reasons why signs are posted with info stating not to feed the squirrels.

Why should you not feed squirrels? The posted sign states one good reason:

Sure, the squirrel population will explode and pest control will need to take action to decrease the squirrel population. Also know, when squirrels are not fed they become aggressive and when not fed for a period of time they can starve to death.

We want animals to maintain a natural fear of humans. A truly wild animal will move away when a human arrives. So that is a clue about the health of an animal if it seems to be hanging around you … possibly looking for food from you … because that animal equates humans as a food source.

Flashback to a squirrel bite moment…

I was walking along the sidewalk and saw young ladies feeding 6 squirrels. Wow, this did remind me of my youngest sister having been bit by a squirrel at the bottom of a Colorado gorge decades ago. My sister was 7 years old at the time. She casually picked up a popcorn kernel from the ground and stuck her fingers through a fence. There a squirrel eagerly took it and bit her finger. We took my sister to an emergency room. Her finger was thoroughly cleaned and doctors decided not to start the painful series of rabies shots. Was this squirrel possibly rabid? My entire family worried for days about my sister’s health. It was this time I became aware of the importance of wild animals needing to know how to hunt or find their own food and not look for a human’s handout.

As I walked further down the sidewalk, a squirrel and I seemed to have a stare down. Honestly, I kept my eye on the squirrel and it on me. The squirrel remained so transfixed on me I had plenty of time to take the photo above! There was no way I was even going to open my own snack bar for lunch while this squirrel was near me. Finally I did see the sign about not feeding the squirrels. Obviously more than one sign is needed in the area! I ate my snack in my van and the squirrel finally went its own way.