Monday, April 23, 2018

Earth Day

A beautiful day
Hopscotch

Hey!

Remember me?

Bobby in the grass

Big Boy







Mama's tail



Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Bunnies

Cherry Trees in bloom!


Easter parade


Mama

Fat Boy
The Twins

Bobby


The Art of Begging






Happy Easter!

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.

Fat Boy says hello


Me too!

Mama is still a beauty, showing off her gorgeous tail

One of the twins (don't ask me which one)

Bobby (previously BoBo, but he's a big boy now)

Bobby loves cherries

Fat Boy looking for a handout


Blackie
 This is Blackie - the terror of the neighborhood. The other squirrels are scared stiff of him because he pounces when they get in his space. He does look mean, doesn't he? Gr-r-r-r!


Meanwhile. another Nor'easter is on its way.


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.


A few did make an appearance:
Fat Boy showed his face
A couple of young 'uns showed up for a meal
That's all folks!

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...








And then this...
Diggin' for nuts




Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Last but not least

Fat Boy made his appearance today!


Not the least of them...


And was treated to avocado canapes in celebration. Doubles for Fat Boy!




I guess maybe he was holding out for the good stuff!
I know what I'm doing.


The high was 43 today which felt fantastic. The squirrels were all looking better.  
One of the twins. He's a big boy now!






Monday, January 8, 2018

Not a creature was stirring

... not even a mouse. I looked around for any signs of squirrel life. Were they in semi-hibernation? Or dead?


But little by little a few finally showed up. The young'uns -- Rusty and the twins -- are all accounted for,  a great relief.  There's even a new one - a true gray, very cute  -- that I had never seen before. Go figure -- the mysteries of squirrels never cease to amaze. The little ones were as bouncy and full of energy as ever, and seem to have incurred no harm from the horrible weather. And things will be getting better now!


But I was still concerned that I didn't see Fat Boy or Mamsie (Baby Mama). The weather takes more of a toll on the older squirrels, although Mamsie is not much more than a baby herself. Once she unloaded, she was not much bigger than the other babies.


I went grocery shopping, then headed home. It was late, but on a hunch, I decided to stop by the Orange Tree one more time. And there she was! Just there waiting for me! So glad I stopped!


She looked scraggly, with a very wet tail, but otherwise seemed to be okay. It was so good to see her! She got quite a few nuts from me. I think she had already been fed (had Bernie been by earlier?) because she did not eat that much, and soon started burying the peanuts --  in the snow!


I stood there and played along: I'd toss her a nut which she ran off and  buried, then she came back for another. And another. It's a game squirrels will sometimes play when they're somewhat fond of you. It's like they're just being polite, don't want to hurt your feelings. For me, I was just so glad to see her... alive. I was happy to play the game.

YAY!!!


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? Don't they get hypothermia?


Nature has given them the most marvelous ability to withstand very cold temperatures. I have been amazed watching them. The squirrels have been little soldiers throughout ten days of horrific cold.  They just keep going with no complaints. They need to eat in order to produce energy, to produce heat to keep them warm. Yesterday was the first time I heard a squirrel crying  It was high up in the tree, so I couldn't see which one it was, but it was one of my squirrels. A member of my family.

Squirrels have various cries for different occasions. This was not the warning cry made when they see a predator. It was not a mating cry. It was just a simple cry of anguish. And that made my heart ache. 


Today was actually a great relief. It almost felt spring-like, when the temperature soared to 30 degrees.  Hah! Still below freezing, but I guess it's all relative. I could tell the squirrels were feeling a little bit better today. But they didn't know what I knew -- that  the Bomb Cyclone was on the way.


I knew that the Bomb Cyclone was traveling up the coast from Florida and is due to arrive here tomorrow. A Bomb Cyclone is a collision between two air masses -- one warm and one cold --  which sets up currents of rotating air -- and this occurs when the the air pressure drops really fast, like within  24 hours. The drop in barometric pressure occurs when a region of warm air meets a region of cold air -- in this case, the warm air over the ocean meets up with the cold polar air hanging over the East Coast right now.  The direction is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, causing winds to come out of the northeast — so it's basically a Nor’easter.


So, my poor little friends, you are in for it tomorrow. Glad I had the chance to feed you two bags of peanuts today, plus assorted walnuts, cashews and almonds. And a few peanut butter crackers. They really seem to like those.


So now we just sit and wait.