So sunny days…do you feel like doing much?
Black-eyed Susans, specifically.
We squirrels see a lot of this beautiful summer flower, because it is native to eastern and central North America, but also because you humans seem to like its cherry color and daisy-like look. It’s a type of sunflower that you’ve developed a few varieties of, but there are also more than two dozen native black and brown-eyed species.
And if you absolutely insist that S Must Be For Squirrels, check out last year’s 2017 ‘S’ post which treated squirrels right!
Now this isn’t the perfect suburban forest floor–it’s got a few of those invasive vines in it, but the leaf litter under the hollies and oaks is an oasis of acorns and bugs, and even a few mushrooms pop up, all tasty to us squirrels.
The ground has been raked clean of acorns. The small nooks where insects can winter over and feed on decaying leaves are gone. And daffodils? You humans do realize they are poisonous, right? No squirrel with any woods-smarts touches them!
You humans might like a neatly mulched area of woods, but it does exactly zero for wildlife.
Even if our suburban woodlands aren’t perfectly native, Keep them Messy, please!
We had to break our hiatus for a little celebration…
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!
Thank you for following our squirrel stories on The Squirrel Nutwork and, out in the real world, enjoying the antics of 200 species of squirrels everywhere!
However, we squirrels aren’t naive enough to believe all humans love us. Some become very angry when we help ourselves to the food you put out for other wildlife, or take the opportunity to widen a hole in your house to provide a safe place to rear our kits.
Maybe some of you can explain that we are all sharing space in a world where wild places are getting harder to find, and acorns aren’t falling from every tree. (What are some of those species that do nothing but look pretty?)
For today, let’s celebrate that Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator from Asheville, North Carolina, cared enough about squirrels to create a day to honor us! Thank you, Christy!
Acorns for all!
It’s late in the day and snowing, our first snowfall of the season here in northern Virginia.
The overcast day reminds us squirrels of how we like to sleep more in the winter, stay holed up in our leaf nests and only run around enough to dig a few acorns. So that’s what we’ll be doing the next few months. We might pop in if something excites us, but we’re pretty much putting the blog to bed like we do each winter.
Stay safe out there! See you in the spring!
Nutmeg, Hickory, Ol’ Wally and Miz Flora
“The acorns are falling!” Hickory leaps back and forth under the huge Chestnut Oaks in our neighborhood. “This will make it so much easier to collect and bury them! And snack on.”
“Ugh, they’re green,” I tell him. “These are only good for burying.”
“Oh.” His tail droops.
“Well, look on the bright side. The humans have done something funny to the grass, so we won’t need to dig holes. Just push them in.”
Now both our tails are flicking as we get to work.
We’ve had a lot of rain recently–and are swishing our tails in happiness that this hasn’t been a terribly dry summer. And the bonus is surprise snacks:
Yep, Hickory and I are coming across mushrooms everywhere. And some we are eating.
Can you eat them?
No. A squirrel’s digestive system is far different than our human readers’, so we caution against eating what we do. And we aren’t even going to attempt to identify mushrooms…because we aren’t good at it.
And P.S.: Hickory says to tell our regular readers he can’t do the mystery again this Sunday. Sorry!