Why Squirrels?


The Wonder of AnimalsHi, Fellow Bloggers and Readers:

My first blog post is a bit out of my areas of interest - horses, dogs, and cats - so finding myself writing about squirrels is a surprise, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about these little creatures. I am quite sure many of you are well-versed about these little rodents and I will appreciate any help, information or correction of my deductions you have to offer.

My introduction to squirrels began last year when I moved into a condo. Because of all of the trees, the area has many squirrels running around. Prior to moving into the condo, the sum total of my squirrel-knowledge was that they were little furry “rats” who ran around yards, climbed trees and liked nuts. I had no idea that they are such personable little beings from whom I can learn so much about local ecology.

In an attempt to meet my neighbors, my four-legged friend, Ransom, and I began to take daily walks. Our first spring walk turned out to be my introduction to squirrels when Ransom and I met Jo Ann, our 85-year-old neighbor who seemed to have a way with squirrels. These furry things were all over her yard. Jo Ann also was a dog lover and seeing Ransom, she invited us to join her in her large yard swing “to swing away the afternoon”. Her invitation sounded wonderful, but I was concerned that Ransom’s presence might frighten the squirrels. Jo Ann told me not to worry, because the squirrels loved the food more than they feared Ransom - and she was right. Other than a brief look and a wide berth around us, they continued their lunch. I was fascinated. I had heard relationships could develop between humans and squirrels, but I had never observed it.

As the days passed and we spent more time with Jo Ann, the squirrels adjusted to the addition of two strangers to the swing. In fact, they paid no attention to Ransom when he decided to lie on the ground rather than sit in the swing. It appeared that Ransom was now part of the scenery.

Jo Ann was delighted to share her squirrels’ visits with us. We learned that she had names for some of her little friends and, believe it or not, they responded to her when she called. Charlie was the most interesting of the group and the easiest to identify because he had no hair on his tail. We could not figure out what happened to him but we noticed that most of the other squirrels either ignored him or ran him off when he tried to get some food. Then there was One Ear, a little squirrel with only one ear, (makes sense, right?), and Beauty, who, when not eating, spent most of her time primping herself.

3/4/2015 8:08:07 AM

Karen, you have been away for awhile. Welcome back to the GRIT blogging community. Do you still foster and adopt dogs or are you down to just the one dog? Squirrels, yeah, they are the rascals of the neighborhood. Their antics are entertaining to watch and usually they terrorize the dogs in the neighborhood. They know just how high they can hang on to a tree trunk and be out of reach of the barking jumping dog. That classic tail twitching tease is their trade mark in my neighborhood. I'm surprised that your dog doesn't have the instinct to try to chase them. I guess he/she is smart enough to know that it's only a frustrating chase that never ends with satisfaction. ***** Have a great squirrel viewing day.

3/4/2015 12:48:19 AM

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