Monday, August 13, 2018

Orange And the New Black

Last week the beautiful Orange Queen returned.



This week I'm overjoyed to see that Black is back!

That is, a somewhat modified Black -- a new Black if. you will.  That characteristic "V" on her back, by which I knew her, has disappeared.  But just as squirrel tails are always changing colors, I guess their fur can  change too. Squirrel "looks" go in and out of fashion, as changeable as the weather and the seasons.




But there's so much that's the same -- her familiarity with me, the way she races over when I enter the park, and follows me around until I leave is still the same.

Do you really have to go now?


Her boundless energy, her intense personality, her antics -- all these characteristics are still there in the new Black.


Black Being Black

I smell a peanut.

Casing the joint.


Deep diving...

And out come the goods...


All that hard work, and for peanuts!



So they've come back, but where have they been? Squirrels don't hibernate in winter, but I'm wondering if they've been in some sort of semi-hibernation state this summer? Could that have been their "summer vacation"? Maybe this is one of the ways the squirrels will be adapting to climate change.


Friday, August 3, 2018

She's back!!!

I'm back



The beautiful Orange Queen has returned! After being gone for over a week, she sauntered over to me, as if just back from summer vacation. But where had she been and why was she gone for so long? I'll never know. Put that down to the mystery of squirrels. I'm just glad she's back. But she seems a bit worse for the wear, maybe a little disoriented. Like, how did I get back in THIS world?


I've had several messages from people saying that the squirrels in Peter Cooper and StuyTown seem disoriented. It could be the heat. I'm wondering if they're dehydrated. It must be difficult for those who live in fur coats.


And of course while most birds and animals get their water from the food they eat, vegan squirrels don't get much water that way. So I've been giving them grapes and small chunks of fresh coconut, which they seem to like.



Coconut


ice cream for squirrels?


summer flowers

daisies


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

And then there were none?

It seems like squirrels have been disappearing. Just looking back at my  mid-July post, there were so many around, and now it looks like an empty landscape by comparison.

I don't know what's going on. They all made it through the harsh winter (with my help, I like to think), and now that it's finally nice weather, there are not many around to enjoy it. I'm beginning to think that they do better in the winter. Look out, here comes global warming.
The Other Mother

This is a picture of my "other mother" who has now also disappeared.

She's the other squirrel that I'd grown fond of over the winter. She was pregnant or nursing at the time, and would go crazy if she missed me for a day and missed a meal. I'm always especially aware of the needs of mothers and the squirrels seem to respond to that and appreciate it. She was a little terror. She'd tear holes in my bags until I taught her not to.  And she'd be constantly grabbing nuts and burying them for later. She was very intelligent, and also aggressive, but she paid attention and learned, and we bonded.


And now that she hasn't shown up for a couple of days I'm saddened. First I lost the orange queen and now the black queen?

There have been rumors of squirrels being poisoned around here. At first I rejected the idea because all "my" squirrels were doing well. But I was told that someone had actually brought a few dead squirrels to a vet and had them autopsied, and poison was found.

Now it's really scary to think that there are actually people who would poison the little creatures. There are quite a few people around here who do not like squirrels, and do not like to see any of us feeding them. But would they go so far as to hurt squirrels? I find that hard to believe. And yet, in the space of two weeks it seems that I've lost two of my main squirrels!  A lot of others seem to have gone missing as well.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Gone Squirrel

I can't believe she's gone! She just wasn't there one day. Or the next day, or the next. I was about to celebrate her here on the blog as the Queen of the Oranges. This is the latest picture of her, where her tail was already changing from its silvery beauty into a more orangey color. But the last time I saw her (which I didn't have a chance to capture as I didn't have my camera), it was a truly bright orange -- proof positive that she was the progenitor of the resurgence of orange-tailed squirrels we've been blessed with this season.

Momma

Yes, this is Momma, the mother of all orange squirrels, I'm pretty sure of it.
And now she's gone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Southern Squirrel

Today's squirrel is a Southern cousin -- this darling mama Fox squirrel from South Carolina.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Spring Before the Storm

It was a gorgeous blue-sky day today with a hint of spring in the air.

The Japanese Cherry trees are getting ready to bloom.

Japanese Cherry Trees

I'm happy to report that all my squirrels survived the winter and are doing well. They were enjoying the nice weather today, clueless about the storm that's about to descend on them tomorrow.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day is a holiday which is celebrated on January 21st every year to celebrate and honor squirrels and the contribution they make to the environment. On this day, people are encouraged to head out into the woods or at least, to their local park to look for their favorite types of squirrels and to leave nuts and seeds ...
A peanut will do...


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Respite

50 degrees and sunny! It sure feels good! I expected to see all the squirrels out prancing around the green in the fine weather! Instead, there was barely a squirrel in sight. So what's the story? Since it's not so cold they don't need as much food to produce heat? Beaten down and just wanting a long winter's nap? Poor little things.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tomorrow Will Be Better

Two very cold days with temperatures in the low 20s are coming to an end. Tomorrow the temperatures will rise to decent numbers. I know this, but they don't. For all they know, they could be in for another horrifying two weeks like the ones they just went through. Can they even remember that? Or can they project into the future? I don't know, maybe they only live day-to-day, but I think they must have some kind of memory. At any rate, they are in for a nice surprise tomorrow when things warm  up.


I've been amazed at their capacity to sustain cold temperatures, They must have some "magic potion". It turns out that their cousins the ground squirrels, and some other rodents that hibernate, do have some "magical" ability to adjust their body temperatures to the cold. It's a specialized protein called TRPM8 that helps them resist the cold. Now I know our tree squirrels don't have that, but they must have something similar going on that helps them get through this crazy cold weather.  As for me, I do my part by supplying the food. Food = energy = heat.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dirty Old Town

At first fall it's lovely...




But it soon starts to look like this...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Last but not least

Fat Boy made his appearance today!


Not the least of them...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Bomb Cyclone


Emergency Alert
How to prepare now:
Stay indoors during the storm. Prolonged exposure to cold can cause hypothermia.



But what about the squirrels?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Heartbroken



Right now it's 17 degrees, going down to a low of 12 later tonight. Today was the coldest so far -- 23 degrees. Some squirrels did not even come out, and those that did show up did not stick around for long.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

National Maple Syrup Day

Happy #NationalMapleSyrupDay !!


photo by @SquirrelBeebz


Monday, December 4, 2017

National Cookie Day

Yes, I know it's #NationalCookieDay, but I think I've had a little too much cream filling.


Beeb the Squirrel



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Oranges are Back!

This is the tree we call the orange tree. Years ago it was the home of a family of "orange" squirrels. These squirrels were not truly orange: they were gray or "brindle" squirrels with bright orange tails. We had babies that froze to death during a couple of cold winters, and after that the oranges disappeared. Now we're happy to see these pretty squirrels back in the orange tree again!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving

For All Good Things We Give Thanks



Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Remains of the Day

When I was here the other day Momma Gray Squirrel started making a strange growling sound, before making a dash for the tree. When a few other squirrels picked up on the theme I looked up and saw a huge red-tailed hawk sitting patiently in a nearby tree. I was sorry to see it so close to the baby tree. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me so I don't have a picture of the hawk, but when I went back there today, I found the remains of an adult squirrel under the orange tree.

Sadly, it was one of the black ones, which are a bit rare here. I hope it wasn't the babies' mother. You don't know which squirrels are the mothers, as they never have anything to do with the babies when outside of the nest.

On the brighter side, the babies have become much more approachable.
There are three browns and one gray, and all seem to be from the same litter. Three of them were down when I arrived:

I managed to get some great pictures of the cuties (click to enlarge):











Some children came by and were ecstatic watching the squirrels. Their father, who was on his cell phone, didn't seem to be paying much attention, but as soon as their mother arrived, she started telling the children to stay away from the squirrels as if they were some deadly enemy. Then she started lecturing me about feeding them. I wasn't supposed to be doing that. 

Her children gathered around and formed a chorus: "Don't feed the squirrels!"


I explained: "I only feed them because they're hungry and need to be fed."


She replied haughtily: "Oh, they are well-fed, I assure you of that!"


"Really?"  I asked, "Fed by whom?"


That seemed to stump her. End of conversation.  :)