From “When Fall Comes to New England”
by Cheryl Wheeler
The frost is on the pumpkin
The squash is off the vine
And winter warnings race across the sky
The squirrels are on to something
And they’re working overtime
Foxes blink and stare and so do I.
The squirrels have become frenetic in their urge to bury nuts. Flower pots, dirt under the back porch, any seemingly random spot in the yard can at least temporarily, catch a squirrel’s attention as burial spot for nuts. They are caching nuts–which can produce future nut or oak trees or squirrel food for the winter. “Researchers from the University of Berkeley found that the rodents organized their nut stash by quality, variety, and possibly even preference. The arrangement is referred to by researchers as “chunking.”
Squirrels, aka tree rats, are members of the Sciuridae family and are a form of rodents that include tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, and prarie dogs. People seem fascinated with the little pests. One of the best ways to see them is watching someone feed them directly under a “Don’t Feed the Squirrels” sign. Children and senior citizens appear to be squirrels biggest fans.
Marvel Comics launched a new girl superhero in 1991, when LA high school student Doreen Green, became Squirrel Girl after being bullied by her classmates because of her mutation. She has since teamed up with other superheroes.
Squirrels are found on every continent but Australia and Antarctica. January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day and was founded in 2001 by North Carolina wildlife rehabilitator Christy McKeown. Squirrels have brought the power grid down more often than hackers because of their four front teeth that can grow up to 6 inches a year.
What is your squirrel story? Do they make you squirrelly with their antics? Join in the conversation and vote whether you think that squirrels are cute or just tree rats with a better marketing campaign than other rodents