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Petidote of the Day 2012-07-06

twig's picture

pine cones

Regular pine cone (right) and one eaten by "my squirrels"

There are some very friendly squirrels living in the yard. Not friendly to the point of sitting on my lap or anything. But they do funny things to get my attention, like sit on the roof and look in the kitchen window in the morning while they're waiting for their sunflower seeds. One of them has even figured out how to tap on the roof so I'll look up and see him/her. Another one sits upright on a rock outside the front door, like a meerkat, and stares and stares at the kitchen door, like it's willing the door to open. They let me get within a couple feet, but no touching! That's probably for the best. They're doing fine as wild animals, so why mess with Mother Nature?

One thing I've noticed is that the little buggers down the street, who don't have someone to feed them, just love pine nuts. The whole street is littered with pine cones like the one on the left, very neatly chewed right down to the central core by squirrels. It's so methodical looking, I imagine them working their way around, one, two, three, as many times as it takes to get every single pine nut.

What else can squirrels do? Well, here's one example.

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Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

But I'm starting a squirrel anti-defamation club, they are the most put-down little animals in existence. And mother nature hasn't helped: they don't hibernate so they have to get food even when there is a foot or more of snow cover (in fact, my fascination started several years ago when we had complete snow cover right into March and I saw one squirrel who was so emaciated, he was probably starving to death); they can't see straight in front of themselves (probably why they get run over by cars so much); and they carry a bullseye around with themselves in that tail they wave around so much. One Spring I had a mother shot out of a tree in my yard by one of the JD's in the next street over, and I had to feed her babies, which luckily were old enough to chew sunflower seeds. Also their teeth keep growing their entire lives. They are very interesting animals, and that squirrel stealing the ice cream cone was probably going to bury it for the Winter, which leads me to think that they might have written in their DNA, total paranoia about starving to death in the Winter. You drop a shelled peanut in front of a squirrel and he/she will run and bury it for Winter food, and I've observed that they do remember where they bury food. But I definitely wouldn't touch them, they are wild and you have no idea what they carry, they do scratch themselves alot.