Monday, June 27, 2016


OK, so here I stand, at my window, midday, looking across at my hillside, now attractively bedecked with foliage (big-leaf maple, blackberries, English ivy, and an unnamed vine that covers about half the view), when what should I see but a squirrel. It's running horizontally from maples to vines just about across from my sixth floor window, a big leaf in its mouth, its bushy tail gesturing as squirrel tails tend to do, probably to help keep balance, but perhaps to express poetic thoughts to the universe.

Hmm, I think. Squirrel. It disappears into the vines. About a minute later, I see a squirrel, probably the same one running from vines to maples with nothing visible in its mouth. About a minute after that, I see a squirrel, by now almost certainly the same one, running maples to vines with another leaf in its mouth. This happens three or four times while I'm watching.

OK. When I think of squirrels, I think of acorns. I always assumed squirrels were acorn-eaters (and, of course, acorn buriers). But now that I think of it, they must eat something besides acorns or they would become very hungry about now, with no new acorns to harvest and all old acorns either sprouted into aspiring oaks, eaten by other acorn-eaters, or rotted in the ground.

I can think of two things the squirrel might have been doing: gathering a picnic or building a nest. Does anyone reading this blog have enough expertise to enlighten me as to what my squirrel was doing running maples-to-vines with big leaves and vines-to-maples without?


  1. I'd say either picnic or nest too. Though this is talking about West Virginia, I found something about squirrel nests:

    I see boatloads of squirrels from my windows and they're often carrying something in their mouths. Usually not acorns so far as I can figure out. In fact I've seen them carrying some extraordinary-looking items, like brightly colored things that may have been children's or pets' toys, and things that are so big that the squirrels keep dropping them. Maybe as rodents they're keenly interested in anything they can pick up and chew on?

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  3. I second the nest explanation, also based on the wisdom of the internet. And the internet also states that squirrels eat nuts, seeds, and fruit. Like the acorns you mentioned! But one leaf at a time to build a nest! Squirrels certainly are patient and persistent.