Squirrel Appreciation Day
Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, which was founded in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in Asheville, North Carolina. Christy created the special day to acknowledge that food sources for squirrels are scarce in mid-winter.
Gardeners are generally of two minds when it comes to squirrels. They either don't mind them, or they really dislike them.
Squirrels can be a challenging pest in the garden because of their tremendous athleticism. Squirrels have a 5-foot vertical. Nowadays, their ability to leap is well-documented on YouTube. And, squirrels are excellent sprinters and swimmers. Squirrels are master zig-zaggers when they run - a skill that comes in handy when they need to evade predators.
A squirrel nest is called a drey. Squirrels make their nests with leaves, and the mother lines the inside of the drey with grass.
Squirrels perform an essential job for trees. They help the forest renew itself by caching seeds and burying them. The caching of seeds by squirrels is vital for many tree species. As squirrels bury acorns and other seeds, they either sometimes forget or simply don't return to some of their buried food. Although squirrels have tremendous ability to source buried food, they can smell an acorn buried in the ground beneath a foot of snow.