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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A forgetful squirrel (or perhaps just an unlucky one)

Today I had the good luck to wander around the Toledo Botanical Gardens and my beloved Wildwood Metropark. There was much to observe and enjoy, enough for several blog posts. At the moment, though, I want to write about the fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) that were perhaps the most entertaining wildlife today.

The fox squirrel is the largest squirrel in eastern North America and has become my favorite, probably because we don't have any in Parkersburg (that wanting what you can't have thing again). Their reddish fur, tufted ears, and general hyperactivity (though they have nothing on the West Virginia fairydiddle, which we also don't have in Parkersburg) are endlessly amusing. Today the squirrels at the TBG were hauling around mouthfuls of dried leaves, evidently putting together this year's messy nests.

This particular guy couldn't seem to decide what he was doing.

This one was having a delightful time prowling for something among the pachysandra.
But one unfortunate squirrel in the Manor House gardens at Wildwood was engaged in a serious search for something that it was not finding. Of course, I had the binoculars but not the camera for that particular encounter, but here's how it went:
  • Squirrel looks around, digs intently in the mulch for a few seconds, finds nothing.
  • Squirrel moves over a few inches, digs intently in the mulch for a few seconds, finds nothing.
  • Repeat several times.
I suspect the rodent in question was looking for cached acorns, but none were to be found. Either its walnut-sized brain has a faulty memory, or some other being(s) found the stash and made off with it. In any case, the squirrel eventually gave up and bounded off. This photo is of a different squirrel, but the picture was basically the same.

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