Monday, April 7, 2008

Balancing act

It always amazes me that these guys can run along a wire or balance on a twig without falling off.


Anonymous said...

I'm an official member of
"The Squirrel Lover's Club"
(yes, it's for real).

There are at least 4 adorable
"tree angels" living in a hollow in
an American Beech tree in my rear yard.They're usually joined by as many as 6 others when it's feeding time.

I've observed them and photographed them for quite awhile now.

I feed them 1 1/2 pound of peanuts a day and on holidays they get
Hazelnuts, Walnuts & Pecans!

Their antics are amazing.....
a regular circus.

I've taught them hand signals and
they'll take nuts from my hand
by climbing up onto my window ledge. (I even let one into the kitchen once to photograph him
stealing nuts from a bowl).

No matter what kind of lousy mood I'm in, these little clowns can lift your spirit and replace a frown with a smile.
That's why I consider them angels.

But G-d, with infinite wisdom, didn't give them wings or they'd just create more mischief
than they already do.

If you like these playful critters, I'd recommend reading ,
"Squirrels At My Window"....
it's amazing!

ken said...

really cool, anonymous.
Guess their long tails helps them to have such good balance.

Anonymous said...

Talk about bright eyed & bushy tailed! Is that squirrel smiling? If he's one of the ones getting 1.5 lbs. of nuts a day, he ought to be...

Anonymous said...

They actually use their tails to signal....swishing them around
in a fan dance or flicking move!

Watch them do this sometime.

They also emit long crooning sounds and shorter clipped tones
(maybe to indicate danger).

Samuel F.B. Morse
once owned a pet squirrel.

Maybe he got the idea for the
dots and dashes of the Morse code by noticing a squirrel's short and long sounds.

They are incredibly resourceful.

ken said...

cute critters in any event. I sometimes spot a few all black squirrels. Guess they're something of a rarity.

Anonymous said...

Actually, black squirrels are not a breed of their own but mutations of the gray squirrel.

Red squirrels are a smaller and distinctively different breed
preferring conifer/evergreen trees as their main habitat.

I haven't spotted any in NYC but have seen them upstate.

If you want to hand feed squirrels,
I'd go to Union Square Park.

I actually have gotten a few to climb up my jeans onto my jacket to retrieve a nut from my fingers.

Communing with these curious critters is very relaxing
but watch your fingers.

Sometimes they grab on.
The trick is not to panic and they soon let go realizing their mistake.

Despite any misinformation....
squirrels DO NOT carry rabies.

ken said...

thanks. Will head on over there, soon, with a bag of nuts...and a spoon.

Anonymous said...

As the author explains in "Squirrels at my Window" (aka Such Wonderful Friends) because squirrels have eyes on the sides of their heads (like deer to be aware of predators) they cannot see very well directly in front of them, that is why they will often bite your finger when offered a nut. Offering a nut on your flat outstretched palm works well.

I raised a baby squirrel that fell out of tree one summer and released him in St John Cemetery in the fall. Back then that cemetery was full of chipmunks and ring neck pheasant.

ken said...

will have to pick up this book, too, that hopefully has some pics of squirrels in it.

Interesting about their not being able to see well in front of them. Their vision, from the side, is amazing though. When I walk past them they don't scurry away unless I look over at them. They can even detect when I even cast my eyes in their direction, which means they can see my pupils move from 15 feet away. Pretty incredible!