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Tag: squirrels

Have you hugged a squirrel today?

Photo of squirrel taken in 1937, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin.

Photo of squirrel taken in 1937, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. (Identifier 2129386, National Archives at Chicago)

While poking around the web while I ate my lunch, I discovered that today is Squirrel Appreciation Day! I know many gardeners can’t stand the little beasts, and when we tried to grow tomatoes a couple of summers ago, I didn’t feel too friendly toward them, either. But usually I’m quite taken by these fluffy-tailed guys. And I’m not the only one—President Ronald Reagan used to feed the squirrels outside the Oval Office.

President Reagan laying out acorns for the squirrels outside the Oval Office. 11/4/83 (Reagan Library, C18085-17)

President Reagan laying out acorns for the squirrels outside the Oval Office. 11/4/83 (Reagan Library, C18085-17)

I love the way squirrels flick their tails when they’re agitated and chitter at you self-importantly from their safe perches far overhead. I can’t help but smile when they’re all fluffed up in winter or nod sympathetically when they’re draped across a branch, trying to cool off in summer. Way, way back, when I was a tiny thing, one of my favorite cartoons was even “Secret Squirrel.”

Squirrels also have an important job planting trees. They bury far more acorns and seeds than they can possibly uncover and eat, and the forgotten food then sprouts. They also won the sweepstakes when it comes to cuteness. Without that plume of a tail, they’d not look much different from their rodent cousin, … [ Read all ]