Project Alicia

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DAY 260

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The Gray Squirrel

The gray squirrel, scientific name Sciurus Carolinensis, is a mammal in the rodent family that has been in North America for over 37 million years. Many factors have contributed to its long life. Its ability to plan for the future is what a squirrel is best known for. Every fall, the gray squirrel spends its day gathering nuts and seeds. Then it hides them so it will have enough food to last through the winter and into the fall. The squirrels hiding pattern is called scatter hoarding. The squirrel will bury its food in hundreds of different locations, that way if another squirrel or animal finds one, the rest will remain. The squirrel cleans each nut or seed before it is hidden, this leaves a scent which the squirrel can find later in the winter. Because of this scent, the squirrel can find its buried food even through a heavy blanket of snow. Not all nuts or seeds are recovered, since a squirrel will save more food than it really needs. These nuts or seeds then grow into trees and a forest is grown. Squirrels are responsible for planting more trees than all of mankind. www.squirrels.org/gray.html

These little guys are busy at work gearing up for the winter ahead. If it's anything like last winter they have their work cut out for them. We ran into this one as we were getting ready to leave for school. I don't know if they are extra stressed, but while doing yard work the other day I saw a squirrel throw a fit like I've never quite seen before. I must have upset him for some reason and he took off up a tree and about fell off multiple times, all the while making obnoxious noises (almost like a bird?) and staring me down. Very amusing. He might have been deranged.

Just a side note: Life has gotten busy and I'm running out of time and ideas for pics. I'm trying desperately to hang on. Any ideas?? We ended up getting dinner on the table at 7:45 tonight and then Little Man still had dishes, homework, and shower left. He just got in bed and it's 9:30PM. Not sure how to have warm home cooked meals and activities. I'm sure I'll find that balance. Maybe better planning or crock pot meals are in order.

3 comments:

  1. This is a great photo! I'm having the same issues with getting dinner on the table. I'm thinking of either making a lot of dinners on Sunday and then freezing them, or making a menu plan for the week so I don't waste time deciding what to have for dinner. Maybe a night of take-out isn't that bad either. Good luck. =)

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  2. We are having the same issues! If you figure it out help me.

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  3. I think you'll find your balance soon...hope so anyway! We went into DC on Saturday and saw these squirrels...I was more disturbed by the fact they were NOT scared of people. One was a very ugly gray/black...he really looked deranged! But now that you posted this, it made sense with their skittering around and i think I saw one trying to put his seeds/acorns in a hole under a leaf. I told Kason he was storing his nuts, but then thought that can't be right, don't they usually put them in trees--darn cartoons--haha so thanks for posting this, because it was very unlikely I'd remember to come home and google it! haha

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