For the past week or so my fellow citizens and I have been experiencing an Indian summer: temperatures in the high 70s (F), deep blue skies and fluffy white clouds, amazing leaf colors… it’s been absolutely divine. Yet while some humans may be ‘fooled’ by this moderate display of Mother Nature, other living beings with whom we share this planet know that winter really is right around the corner.
While kids have been shedding jackets, animals have been taking a ‘gathering’ approach. Every morning I have seen at least 30 bees on the flower bushes in our front yard, scurrying from bud to bud and collecting as much nectar as they possibly can. I’ve seen many rabbits hunker down in the middle of the lawn, munching and chewing and eating as much as possible before the inevitable snow arrives. And our local chipmunks – well, I’ve seen these guys do some pretty crazy stuff today.
Thursday is trash-and-recycling day in our neighborhood. I set the can and the bins out by 7 am; while the garbage man usually arrives by 8 am, the recycling man typically doesn’t come until later in the day. This afternoon I left the house shortly after lunchtime to purchase our groceries for the upcoming week. I was gone around 90 minutes or so; when I returned home, the recycling man had come and taken our papers and cans. After putting all of the fridge/freezer foods from the grocery store into the appropriate location in our residence, I went outside to the end of the driveway to collect the trash and recycling gear and return it to our garage. When I bent over to pick up the blue recycle bin, I saw this inside:
I chuckled lightly. Silly squirrels! I plucked the cluster of nuts from the bin, and set it to the side of the driveway, on the edge of our lawn. I figured the squirrel would find it there, and look for another place to stash it.
And that’s exactly what he did. As I was washing dishes later this afternoon, I looked out our front window, and saw a squirrel carrying a cluster of nuts up the beam of our porch. We have a small ledge on the underside corner of our porch awning where a bird family makes a nest each year (and lays eggs, and hatches chicks) – and Mr. Squirrel thought this now-empty bowl would make a perfect storage spot for his nuts. (Since I was mean and took away his #1 choice, after all…) I watched the squirrel maneuver from the ground, up the porch post, over to the porch beam, and across to the bird nest – then drop the cluster into the grouping of sticks.
Satisfied that he had found a primo spot, the squirrel turned around, left the way he came, and scampered across the street to collect more goodies.
It was pretty awesome to watch this series of actions transpire. This time, I’m leaving the nuts alone. I wonder how long they will stay in the nest until they are reclaimed? I also wonder where else I might find nuts as the fall progresses? Exactly how many good hiding spots do we have at this house? I’m curious to find out…