Yes, The Squirrel Nutwork is still on winter hiatus, but our recent weather is prompting us to speak for the trees!
Like most of the east coast, we had high winds in northern Virginia over the weekend. Sadly, our suburban woodlands around the golf course lost many old oaks, a loss for both the human and wildlife inhabitants.
Many were snapped off, but a closer look showed that the heartwood of the tree was rotten.
Unfortunately, these older trees had such a branch spread of strong limbs that they took down adjacent trees.
One was apparently decayed enough at the base and roots that it uprooted.
We squirrels noted that recent replacement of the sidewalk adjacent to this last double oak had also included a regrading of the entire soil bed surrounding the tree… The tree was rotten, but it’s never a good idea to mess with the roots of a tree! They extend farther than most humans think–one and a half times the diameter of the branch spread. Good thing to keep in mind to help your trees weather storms like we seem to be having more frequently.
It’s raining, people, and we need the water! But what’s more notable, is it’s cold. This old squirrel can’t recall an odder spring, or perhaps I should say, set of springs. We’ve had warm spells up to 80 degrees in February, March and April and now back in the 60’s for May.
We’re still on our winter break, especially with the dump of snow hitting our little corner of the world. But a reader sent a great photo to us and we had to share.
Our normal ways of collecting food–sniffing out the acorns and hickory nuts we buried last fall–isn’t working too well with several feet of snow on the ground here in Northern Virginia. Our reader put seed in cleared area to help us out–and perhaps the birds, too. We thought we’d share her idea in case a few of you might also be able to help your neighborhood critters. Thanks, Mary Ellen!
If you aren’t a regular reader, please see our prior post explaining The Squirrel Nutwork‘s winter blogging break.
Rain and cold. It brings out the worst in some squirrels. By the way, Ol’ Wally is way too old for these antics, in case you thought these were vanity photos. I’m huddled in my leaf nest today, like any sensible squirrel should be.
It’s been many years since I’ve seen cracks such as these! Take another look.
A squirrel could lose a paw down a crack this wide! We had rain Monday and Tuesday, but it doesn’t seem to have made a bit of difference to these trees.
This old squirrel hopes you humans see the benefits of leaving leaf litter in place, or putting down your human mulch. It’s not just for hiding acorns, you know! (And give your street trees a long sprinkle if you can, please.)