June 26, 2021
The squirrel(s) seem to have finally decided the squirrel feeder is there for them. Many of the birds that frequent the feeder do not like the large corn seed that is offered and spend a lot of time tossing it out onto the pool deck. That is especially true for the Blue Jays. I have noticed that even when they do, the doves will hop down on the pool deck and eat the larger kernels of corn that have been discarded. As determined as the squirrels are to raid the feeders, I have never seen them eating on the ground below the feeder. When the corn disappears, I sometimes wonder who ate the kernels. The alternative to the doves is other critters that come in at night and eat the corn. I am determined to not think about what those critters might be.
When I Looked online, I found that squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, a family that includes small or medium-size rodents. The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including groundhogs), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs amongst other rodents. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa. Someone obviously liked to watch the determined antics of the little rascals, and they were introduced by humans from England to Australia. They are now extinct in Australia except for a group of Northern Palm Squirrels (Funambulus pennantii) living in the Sydney Zoo where they are thriving. There are three known species of squirrel in Arkansas, the Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), the Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger), and the Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans). Mine are Fox Squirrels.
When I looked at the squirrel feeder today, I saw a squirrel was determined to get the best seed first. It had its head stuck inside the feeder and was munching on the peanuts that tend to rise to the top of the seed. I made some comment about the little imp and Melissa immediately corrected me, saying not to disparage “her” squirrels. She works from home and sits next to a window that gives her full view of the feeders and loves to watch the determined rodents as they move from feeder to feeder trying to get as much seed as they can.
Thoughts: One of the cartoons I loved to watch was Rocky and Bullwinkle. The lead characters were Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. I started watching this show when I was a child, but like so many cartoons of the 1960’s, it was also written with an adult audience in mind. I never understood many of the jokes in the show until I rewatched them in High School. The plot rarely varied as Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from Pottsylvania (between Wrestlemania and Yoursovania), are determined to keep our heroes from saving the day. This Cold War plot was lost some of its humor with the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989. Over the last years it is clear there are some determined to keep the conflict alive. As we have witnessed in America over the last year, Democracy is something which we need to be determined to keep alive. There are always those determined to keep power for themselves. Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.