Welcome to Watercooler Wednesday, where the water is above-average, the topics are bubbly, and the company is sparkling.

We humans walk around this planet with a bit of a swagger, don’t you think?  After all, we’re the big-shot, top-of-the-food-chain, opposible-thumbed bi-pedals with more brain capacity than we know what to do with.

But there are times when we’re reminded that it’s not always easy at the top.  Some critter is always looking to topple us from that perch.

The approach of winter is a great reminder of this, as we aren’t the only ones who appreciate our warm, cozy homes.  Stink bugs, crickets, rodents, racoons, bats, squirrels…they all want a piece of what we’ve got.  If they can’t have opposible thumbs, they’ll get the next best thing: food and shelter from the work of our hands.

In the interests of humility (and some belly laughs), I present one of the most pesky species of critter known to man:

 

The Squirrel

 

yes, the rumors are true (image from 3.b.blogspot.com)

 

Some interesting (or scary, depending upon your point of view) facts about squirrels:

  • the largest concentration of squirrels in the United States is in Washington, DC (actual squirrels, not politicians).  www.squirrels.org says that specifically the area of Lafayette Park, across from the White House, has the highest number.  Hmm…
  • a squirrel can jump 4 feet in the air and 9 feet across a gap (from a run, not standing still).  They can run up to 12 mph.
  • it is a “scatter-hoarder” – which is why your flower beds are such a mess.
  • they don’t hibernate, so we have the aggravation joy of their company all year ’round.
  • attics are very appealing to squirrels, any time of year, and since they are rodents, they need to constantly chew.  I’m sure you can connect the dots.
  • some squirrel species, such as the Eastern Gray Squirrel, have a twice-per-year breeding cycle.  Great.  More squirrels.
  • some genius decided it was a good idea to introduce the Eastern Gray Squirrel to England, Ireland, and Italy, and in those regions, it has now displaced the indigenous European Red Squirrel.

 

Want proof of its intelligence?  Check the video below:

 

 

Never fear: we have some ultra-cool critters on our side, such as Samuel Clemons, that ever-cute-and-wiggly-Pop-Tart-loving ferret, Hider of Socks, and King of the Belly Rub and Swimmy Pool.  Check out his ferret-squirrel wars series of posts:

Never Compromise

No Cease Fire

Friends are Priceless

I first saw this on one of his posts, too:

Fear the Ninja Squirrel…

image via stay-at-home-dog.blogspot.com

 

Gene Lempp, on the other hand, has taken a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to squirrels, in a guest post for Educlayton:   Agents of the Squirrel Nation, where Gene became a sleeper agent under the tutelage of Rocky the Squirrel.  Way to infiltrate, Gene!

What will the Squirrel Nation be up to next?  I’ve seen them eyeing my Christmas lights; I’ve had a few chewed-wire casualties in years past.  Could Rudolph’s nose be next?

What are your opinions of squirrels?  Do you think they are poised for world domination?  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Kathy

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