So far on Sunday we've received a hodgepodge of weather--a little sun, a little rain seasoned with some clouds. The rain showers to date haven't been long or heavy.
We have been dealing with a bumper crop of red squirrels (or boomers as they're known up top). I don't go back as far as Tim, Chris or Allyson, but there seem to be far more of the bushy-tailed critters up here than in my other seasons on LeConte.
If you're coming up to see us I'd like to enlist your help. So many people feed the squirrels up here that they've become delinquents. Several of the squirrels up here have gotten plenty bold. They fight with each other like the Jets and the Sharks (without the snapping fingers and switchblades). In past years we've had begging squirrels bite people because they've been so extensively fed by folks.
A squirrel's teeth are so sharp that they'd be happy to slice through some flesh and introduce you to the bones in your finger (not a fun hike down to medical help and the medical helicopter won't fly for a squirrel attack, though you would be a source of their amusement for decades). It's the same idea as not feeding the bears. The squirrels in the national park are plenty resourceful enough to fend for themselves.
One of the most notorious outlaw squirrels on the mountain slipped into the office and called me out on a showdown this morning. The townspeople came and told me he was itching for a fight. I walked in the door and the rascal was sitting smugly on the office heater, mayhem in his heart and evil in his eyes. Like a gunfighter, he stared me down with a Clint Eastwood squint. He ran around the loom and around the office before riding into the sunset. But I'm pretty sure I've not seen the last of that outlaw. With your help, maybe he'll get hungry and become a "mountain man" again. We don't need any trouble up here.
Have a fine day and keep your head on a swivel for outlaw squirrels. Happy trails.