I was walking my dog today and noticed that our approach created an incredibly agile retreat on the part of a squirrel. The hypervigilant little bugger hurtled itself up the trunk of a tree and before I could say, “Holy Acrobatics Batman,” it had launched into yet another tree and was leaping across tree tops in Olympic style. Intense.
It got me thinking about squirrels in general.
Their nests… How do they occupy that pile of leaves nestled in the branches? Is there space in there, or do they pile in and warm each other with their furry bodies? It doesn’t look particularly inviting, especially in the snow and wind. Definitely not Five Star and totally without amenities.
Their diet… Acorns that are buried for a while are pretty grim culinary fare. Damp acorns, cold acorns, old acorns. Considering the energy squirrels spend launching from tree to tree and the number of calories needed to stay warm, it hardly seems enough to munch on those nasty tidbits.
Their poop… I don’t want to be indelicate, but given the number of squirrels that are running
around, doesn’t it surprise you that we aren’t up to our eyebrows in squirrel poop? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen squirrel poop, now that I think about it. Maybe eating nasty acorns doesn’t produce a lot of waste, but there ARE a lot of squirrels out there.
Their demise… Yes, there are occasional squirrels that have been cut down in the prime of life via auto mishaps, but do any die of old age? Are the ones that lose their battles with vehicles the old ones? Do squirrels turn grey as they age? Hmm, they already are grey.
As I write this, I guess I’m understanding why squirrels look so anxious. I’m also figuring that when I’m done with an apple or other fruit, I may put the remains out for those poor creatures. Notwithstanding the commercial with the woman reading a magazine complaining of squirrels in the attic while her son wards off terrorists, I’ll muster some compassion. You?
With love and a smile,