Saturday, October 20, 2012

Squirreling Away

  The last two weekends I decided to get out and about with my camera in town because I knew I would miss peak fall tree colors if I kept delaying photo excursions, waiting to go to some big park or destination. Plus one thing our town has going for it are the HUGE old trees!  Firestone Cemetery is one of the best places for big old trees.  So on my way home from work Friday I decided to hop out of the car and snap some pictures.  


One thing I didn't expect to find, and should have anticipated, was the cemetery was a squirrel playground!  All those old trees means food a plenty, and with these little critters working over time to store food for winter, it was rather amusing to watch them.

 We all see these little guys pick up the pace when the leaves start to turn, hopping all over, running to and fro.  A common sight, so most of us don't really think about the provision God has made for these little creatures.  For months they will have to rely on caches of nuts to survive winter.  We all know God provides them with the acorns and nuts off the trees...but did you know God gave these little guys amazing brain power....better than me and you?!!

"These squirrels are not putting any flag there, they are not smelling the nuts, they are really remembering the exact location of their nuts," said neuroscience researcher Pierre Lavenex. "They use information from the environment, such as the relative position of trees and buildings, and they triangulate, relying on the angles and distances between these distant landmarks and their caches."

Such a feat would not be possible for humans, said Lavenex. "People can do this for a few sites, maybe six or seven, but not for nearly as many as squirrels do," he said.

 Squirrels do this for hundreds of caches!  But they store more than they can eat, so many are buried and never retrieved to be another aspect of God's Providence is for the trees!  Their seeds and nuts get neatly buried in the ground to grow more beautiful trees that will later feed other squirrels!  Seems like God designed that harmony of continuing provision perfectly!!

This guy was going from headstone to headstone trying to keep his eye on me, while getting around me to go store his food.  At first he came running at me on the paved path like he owned the place but he lost that game of chicken....barely.  ;-)

This vigilant fellow scurried up the tree as I was approaching.  He was clearly concerned I wanted his acorn.  I read that these guys will fake out predators or potential thieves by burrowing around in the ground like they buried their nut, but instead hiding it in their cheek and burying it somewhere else instead.  Smart thinking fella....but I prefer my nuts dipped in chocolate with a hard candy shell.  I am territorial too...I like a big 'M' stamped on them, which stands for "MINE"!

This is still an Eastern Gray Squirrel.  But it is a different type that is all black.  Frankly they look alot creepier to me and this camo nonsense on the tree didn't make me feel any better!  Needless to say I snapped the pic and didn't waste time getting in my car and getting out of there!!

Stay behind the lens everyone...but only as long as it takes to snap the picture...then  use those getaway sticks!

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