No two ways about it. These little rodents have a lock on cuteness. This array of white, red and gray squirrels was found in the same back yard in Minnesota. Some years, there there have been solid black squirrels alongside the white, romping around the yard’s many trees. The white squirrel is a true albino with red eyes. We hope he can evade the hawks and coyotes.
Our neighborhood bun enjoying some evening browsing in the backyard yesterday.
The squirrels on the UA-Little Rock campus are used to people — hundreds of people — tromping past at any particular time of day.
Generally, however, they will hop away to maintain a safe distance should a human make too close an approach. Not so with one squirrel, who was intent on a strange activity — stripping bark from a cypress tree. The squirrel hopped down, ripped up a mouthful of mulch, then hopped back up the tree (mouth empty) to begin ripping and stripping again.
I have a query in to our local extension wildlife and forestry specialists about this odd behavior. It’s been noted elsewhere, according to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. There are multiple theories for this behavior, such as the need for nutrients or water. (this spring, however, there is no shortage of either for this scholarly squirrel). Reason 5 may be the most accurate: “We may never have a complete understanding of why bark-stripping occurs.”
However, her spokespeople, Tamara and Jack, have sent new dispatch. Blossom has reappeared after spending the spring rearing a den of babies (pups? kittens? whistlepiglets?) Jack, an excellent human chef and vintner, was pleased to offer a spread that would delight any rodent of Blossom’s stature: cabbage, apples and peanuts. This time, Blossom brought a friend, the curl-your-toes-cute Ratty the wood rat, who was content with a bowl of oatmeal. Thanks to Tamara and Jack for the photo update!
This week features a photo taken by friends Tamara and Jack: a portrait of Blossom the groundhog. Blossom’s job is stealing the fruits of their garden labors, though Jack has been known to give her treats. Here she is happily nibbling away. Dang. Rodents can be cute, even if they do eat your squash.
We’ll probably have more happy as the weekend progresses.
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