Arrival of Autumn

Footie has been posting pictures of magpies in her garden. Personally we have the squirrels. At least until we move house. I will miss them.

They are invader greys from the States and don’t tend to hibernate. Instead they fluff around outside in the garden making me wonder how many would be required to make nice fur mitts and a hat. They all look the same but I think I’ve started to spot individuals.

There is ‘normal’ squirrel who mostly acts like I have seen other squirrels do in gardens. He hops around bouncily and goes up and down the trees pausing now and again to contemplate life.

In the same bit of garden is ‘dementia’ squirrel. I believe a lot of squirrels are quite forgetful about where they bury things which is how many oak trees are planted. This little guy spent the better part of the summer frantically digging up various parts of the lawn in search of some lost treasure I never saw him find. I’m not sure WHY he was doing this either when there was an abundance of greenery at all other squirrels seemed to think was adequate eating. Now with autumn he’s been scurrying around with his cheeks stuffed full, barely able to keep the contents in place as he madly scrabbles for hiding places. Yet again, unable to settle on a location, he leaps (as far as one CAN leap with a huge mouthful of food practically bigger than one’s head) around seeking places to bury things. It usually takes about seven tries to find somewhere. I’m not sure if he thinks he’s being followed perhaps in some espionage way.

Then there is ‘parking lot’ squirrel and his friend. They tend to hang out the other side of the building where there’s very little green. They run along the top of the fences a lot and I swear I’ve seen this tough guy trying to sharpen his pearlies on the top of the metal chain link. These two seen to enjoy foraging in the bin and live on a diet of junk food and dirty water puddles in the parking area.

Either way the troop (or what is a trible/group/gathering of squirrels called collectively) are trapped in an island of green in a tiny park area. They seem quite happy and although I have seen especially parking lot squirrel try cross tarmac and under cars, natural selection dictates it’s not really wise with all the traffic.

I do wonder what happens when there are too many of them or how they deal with the slightly limited gene pool (I suspect there are at least five others I am seeing that I just THINK are the same four). But honestly, does it matter? They seem happy. Happier than me many mornings as they frolic around using their bushy tails to balance as they leap across the lawn. You can only envy their easygoing lifestyles.


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Filed under animals, Housing

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