Spiders, the first decorators!

It’s that day you humans have been building up to with your fun and gruesome decorations.

So while we watch from afar–and maybe have a nibble of your pumpkins!–we squirrels would like to put out a gentle reminder that nature did it first!

Have a safe day–don’t get caught in a web of your own making! Happy Halloween!

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Motionless Monday

Hey there,

Again, you humans are outdoing yourselves with unusual seasonal statues. Here’s a group we don’t see too often.

Rather normal to see dogs and cats in our suburban neighborhood.

And yes, birds.

Maybe a rat.

But not… a dragon? And not one that does this!

Have a great and spooky week out there!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Here’s a little plant we see coming up in any corner humans leave alone–and it’s still blooming, which is good for the bees.

But what is it?

I’ll check in for your guesses later!

~~~

This is one of those plants you see everywhere, but don’t really bother to find out what it is.Unless you are like Miz Flora. In fact, it grows really well in some areas.

This is a smartweed, thought some humans might tell you it’s a knotweed. They are both members of the Polygonum family. 75 different species of smartweed grow in North America, and they all have those little pink flowers at the ends of the growing stems, like this Polygonum we leaped across.

If the flowers were  growing from the leaf axils–like every spot a leaf emerges from a stem–it would be a knotweed. So keep your eyes peeled the next time you see a smartweed and see if it’s knotweed!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

We’ve still got flowers around, and with no hard freeze, the insects are still visiting them.

Do you recognize this flower and / or the insect?

Give us a guessing the comments and I’ll pop back in to check your answers.

~~~

We had a correct guess today–this is a hoverfly (to the best of a squirrel’s knowledge about insects!) They are also known as syrphid flies, named from their family name, Syrphidae. Hoverfly tends to be an easier name to remember because it describes what they do–hover.

And they look so similar to bees! See, the black and yellow body is screaming Danger, get back! But the big eyes were a dead giveaway for Nutmeg  and I to figure out that this had to be a fly.

Hoverflies, in the adult fly form, eat nectar and pollen, feeding on wildflowers like these late-blooming asters. Since we are nearing that gruesome holiday that you humans love–Halloween–lets talk a bit about the larvae, which have a much more interesting feeding habits. Fly larvae are…do you remember? Maggots! Different species of the Syrphidae prey on other insects, very much like ladybugs eat aphids, while others eat decaying plants and animals, very much like vultures. That’s quite a family!

Time to insulate!

Brrr! Anyone else feeling the cold? Hickory and I spent the last few days adding to our leaf drays.

His isn’t exactly in the crook of a large branches, and I’ve not been sure the leaves would stay, but now he has a huge pile accumulated in that maple.

“But I’ve got it all lined with grass, and it’s warm,” he chitters. “You test your nest and I’ll test mine.”

Huh, he didn’t complain after last night’s dip to near freezing, so I’ll be around to check after the first big wind.