Top Photo: Gray squirrel nest (center) high in loblolly pine.
The week leading up to New Years was warm. Daytime temps reached into the 60s and 70s, heck, the lows were in the sixties towards the end of the week. During that period I saw many squirrels out and about. They all seemed to be chasing around looking for an easy meal, a pecan, a hickory nut, black oil sunflower seeds from the bird feeders. I got the distinct feeling they were perhaps thinking more of the balmy present than the wintry future.
The temps have now dropped to where they’re supposed to be. Some days maxing out in the thirties. With that, the squirrels seem to be concentrating on insulating their arboreal homes. And, stocking up with food for days when it’s less desirable to venture far. They’re playing catch-up.
I watched one such squirrel repeatedly rush down to the forest floor, stuff its mouth full of pine needles and oak leaves, then make haste up to its nest to apply the material to it’s interior. Up and down the squirrel went.
Later, I saw the results of its food gathering efforts in the form of pine cones and pine nuts strewn across the boardwalk below the nest.
A warm home and a stocked cupboard to ward off the winter chill.