From time to time squirrels move into the pine trees near the parents house. They also take up residence in other trees around the homestead, but they tend to raise their young in the pine trees. We find out about the nests in the other trees when the leaves finally fall from the trees.
Of course, to truly appreciate squirrels one must have a lovable but otherwise stupid dog. Our current dog fits the bill to a T. I think it took him 3 times to learn that no matter how fast he was hauling doggy after a squirrel he could not fit under the propane tank but the squirrel’s could. Yelp!
Another thing which helps to enjoy squirrels is fresh snow combined with an ancient walnut tree. Why does it have to be ancient? Because after fresh snow you can look out to see a new fallen branch and a few feet to the side a squirrel sized point of impact with little footprints heading back to the tree. On rare occasions you get to watch them capering around the tree and have a branch give way. It is amazing just how far a squirrel can fall and get back up like nothing ever happened.
We all believe that squirrels bury various nuts so they can find them later. Most of us have seen them do it. I believe there is even some scientific documentation showing this is how forests and stands of trees actually grow. That logic works until many inches of snow and ice over frozen ground. If all of their nuts were buried they would starve during the winter. They also find places in trees to hide nuts. Sometimes they even steal places made by others.
I was picking up branches and cutting limbs today when I walked past the small tree in front of my grandparents’ house. There, in what I believe is a robin’s nest, was a walnut. I assume it was robins because that yard always gets invaded by robins during the summer. The only real question I have now is can a robin actually flick that walnut out of the nest this spring?
If you read the entire post, this is going to stick with you. Maybe I’ll see them do it, maybe I won’t. Maybe the walnut will just be gone one day? Maybe the walnut will stay in that nest until wind and rain remove it from the tree? The squirrel might well have moved on to another farm, totally forgetting about this one. I’m told that is how a forest actually grows. The squirrel’s get eaten or they forget. At any rate, the walnut is left right where they put it until it turns into a tree.
Update: I walked by the next on a beautiful January 21, 2017. It appears either the squirrel that put it there got hungry or another hungry squirrel found it. Am I the only one who believes a squirrel can smell a walnut from over a mile away?