Watercooler Wednesday: Top of the Food Chain?

   

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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18 thoughts on “Watercooler Wednesday: Top of the Food Chain?”

  1. Gene LemppGene Lempp

    Love that video clip, talented little guy. Just remember, during this holiday season, snuggled in front of the fire enjoying candied hams and hot wassail, that outside your doors, encamped in what will soon resemble the frozen wastes of Valley Forge, the Squirrel Nation is keeping us all safe.

    Toss them some left over bread on occasion okay. And maybe. Just maybe. They won’t have to eat your Christmas lights.

    Great post, Kathy. Thanks for the link love 🙂

  2. Laura PaulingLaura Pauling

    I’ll just say that I don’t like squirrels! They are in our walls, our basement. And they kind of freak me out.

  3. Susie LindauSusie Lindau

    I love Squirrels! I have one that stops by my window occasionally. They crack me up!

  4. Sir Samuel Zeus ClemonsSir Samuel Zeus Clemons

    it is not lost upon me that after a few years, nobody has ever asked me WHY i am suing the squirrels. it seems to be taken for granted that i AM suing them, and that is sufficient? well that is a sad state of affairs. if someone were to say, “Sam, I am suing the ducks” i would want to know why.. or “Sam, I am suing the zebras” most definitely, I would inquire… but no. nobody seems to mind that i am suing the squirrels.

    it reminds me of my litigious Uncle Freddie, that trouble maker, indignant, whiner… sues or threatens to sue over every little thing… does an Alleck Baldwin on an airplane? “I’m suing!!” … very dysfunctional. everything is everybody else’s fault, he plays no part in his destiny, but he sure has the right to sue.

    the kettle whistleth, thanks for the fine pointers and factoids regarding the tardtoids,

    i tweet at @Samuel_Clemons

  5. Nancy LauzonNancy Lauzon

    This post is hilarious. I do the unthinkable (according to the bird people) and feed the squirrels in the winter time to keep them off my bird feeders. It only works sometimes. They’re crazy, smart rodents!

  6. Julie GloverJulie Glover

    I used to love seeing squirrels around. Now I see them as the greedy thieves who have stolen my pecan tree harvest three seasons in a row. They have also infiltrated our attic at times. Rodents. That’s what they are. Cute rodents, but rodents nonetheless.

    I’m sorry to say that squirrels are on the list of critters in our area which my sons may shoot on sight with their airsoft guns. (No squirrels have been permanently harmed by plastic BBs, just warned to stay away.)

  7. NatalieNatalie

    Love squirrels and GREAT post. The videos rock. These nifty little creatures know about Tess’ (the dog) slight obsession with them and they come to the patio doors and torture her incessantly. LOL!!!

  8. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    Hehe. Too cute.

    Call me crazy, but I’ve always liked squirrels and wished some would make their home in our trees. Sadly, my cats have made sure that all squirrels who don’t want to become dinner steer clear of us. All bird feeders must also be hung high on a metal pole because trees can be climbed and feeding birds make easy pickings 🙁

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