Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Hottest Mom in America

has to be Spunky... 

Spunky's pregnant again!

I've known Spunky since she was this little black squirrel with an impudent face and long matchstick legs. Well she's still little, but she has to be the grand mama of PCV now. As some of you may remember, that title used to be held by Tubby, who disappeared in the spring of 2011.

Tubby with avocado on her face
She got the name Tubby before I realized she was pregnant. Of course she did love to eat. She was the only squirrel who would eat whatever I gave her, no matter what it was. You'd be surprised at what most squirrels will turn up their noses at. But not Tubby! Now only Spunky will eat anything I give her.

Tubby was always pregnant. I know squirrels are only supposed to get pregnant twice a year, but Tubby and Spunky seemed to be breaking
records. Both squirrels had some things in common:  both had names, both acted like pets and came when called, both ate anything offered to them, both had longevity, both were having babies constantly.

Spunky has had so many litters that I've long since lost count! I believe she may be largely responsible for the recent predominance of black squirrels in the area.  When I first started squirreling there was a majority of gray squirrels in this little corner of PCV. Of course they do interbreed and are really the same squirrel, just a different color they say, but it's always seemed to me that the blacks and browns tend to be shyer, while the grays are less fearful and will often act in a more aggressive manner. These are just my observations.

Spunky must be  a great-great-great-great-great-grandmother by now. She commands respect in the squirrel community. No squirrel ever messes with Spunky, and she has her own tree from which to dominate the scene. This tree has the best digs-- a  den that looks ideal for raising babies.

A Maitake mushroom growing outside the entrance
to Spunky's den

Spunky was eating up a storm today, scarfing down the peanuts, which I'm sure tasted like sirloin steak to her. I'm always amazed by how much squirrels love peanuts. And they say not to give squirrels peanuts! Are they kidding? Of course the other squirrels were very excited when they saw the big bag of peanuts, and they also gathered around, but only Spunky  got to  sit on the bench next to me.

This is good
The other squirrels  know better than to approach the bench-- save for one rogue squirrel that suddenly sprang up into the air in an amazing feat of aerodynamics, and landed squarely on my head -- briefly! Of course it was a gray squirrel --  I can't imagine a black squirrel ever doing that.

I promise I'll clean up later!
Someimes I lay out special treats and Spunky will do tricks for them, but today I only had peanuts, so I just let her go into the bag herself to get her own peanuts.  She loved that. I'm concerned that eating on the bench next to me is a stressful experience for Spunky, as she continually emitted a low growl that was almost under the radar while she ate. The release of all those stress hormones can't be good for the babies!

One of Spunky's young stealthily approaches the cart

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