It’s a busy, busy time for the squirrels. Fall is here and the hickory trees are dropping nuts at a dizzying pace. They fall out of the trees with a solid, LOUD, thump. I used to think the squirrels were throwing them out of the trees, but that proved to be wrong.
The squirrels are gathering the nuts and running to and fro, looking for places to bury them. I did a little research and it was noted that grey squirrels bury the nuts and red squirrels hoard them above ground. One study showed that grey squirrels only find approx. twenty-six percent of the nuts they bury. The remaining nuts get a chance to become a tree one day!
I have only one concern for the squirrels, I think they should wear helmets while they’re gathering the nuts. Safety first.
Tomorrow brings high winds and thunderstorms, and yet just a week ago we had snow. The squirrels are very wise and they have stayed dressed for winter. They still have their fur coats on. Actually, they leave them on all year, but they do wear layers until summer…(interesting side notes…squirrels are not comfortable in short sleeves, shorts or bathing suits. I have learned this through careful observation and a squirrel who likes to give away squirrel secrets.)
I feel the need to advise my fellow humans regarding this squirrel behavior because I know many humans get confused on the issue of seasonal changes.
Here is my advice to all of you who like to run around in shorts and flip-flops as soon as the outside temperature hits 45 degrees…don’t do it. I know, I know, it feels GOOD. The air feels warm and you can almost smell summer after our long winter. The facts are, it isn’t summer, you’ll probably get sick and make me sick and you’ll make me feel stupid for wearing my winter coat.
I’d like to make one more argument for keeping your clothes on…if the squirrels are smart enough to know it’s too early to be going around underdressed …don’t you want to be at LEAST as smart as a squirrel?
I find myself wondering if birds get really chilly on winter, windy days.
I know their feathers keep them warm, but when the wind lifts them up and away from their bodies, the cold wind must send a chill through them.
I was trying to recreate their experience by walking up and down the driveway and flapping my coat open and shut and I definitely was colder than I would have normally been. If you live in a cold climate, you can try the same experiment. Make sure to wear clothes under your coat…we don’t want to read about you in the newspaper.
I’m missing the birds and their antics outside of my window into the woods….so I’m pulling some images out of the archives. I think I had up to nine bluejays feeding on this winter day. Such characters.