Friday, February 06, 2009

Winter Games

They say that "necessity is the mother of invention", and this is the case in my yard. These little red squirrels have come up with an ingenious way to get from "point A to point B" in the deep snow: tunnels! This keeps them safer from the hungry raptors as well, and they can get to the seeds below the bird feeders much more easily. He begins here by the wheelbarrow (isn't he cute?)... ....then re-appears by the feeder...
....is the coast really clear? Yep! Time to chow down!
Sometimes they have to hide for a bit...(see him by the grass?)....

...and sometimes even wait their turn. Red seems pretty tentative with Gray already at the feeder...

...."Heh, plenty of room for both of us here, eh chum?"....
....."Can I take your silence as a 'Yes'?"..... ...."How about no, you little red bandit! I was here first!"
The situation is different with two red squirrels, as they are more likely to share.
So cute, and still rather tentative.......but when you're hungry, sometimes you just have to go for it! There are tunnels all over! Now you see him....
...now you don't!
They're fun to watch for sure....
...popping up here and there. After awhile, these guys make my yard...
...look like my own personal "Whack-A-Mole" game!
I would never "whack" these guys though...promise! Submitted to Friday Ark.

23 comments:

meemsnyc said...

Oh wow, what smart squirrels!! CUTE too.... and.... yummy. Just kidding. Not.

Cinj said...

Cute! We have red squirrels here too, but I haven't noticed any tunnels but I've been rather busy with organizing and trying to figure out this whole crochet business.

Marion in Savannah said...

One of the reasons that I love your blog and keep coming back is that you really pay attention, and I mean REALLY PAY ATTENTION. And document. I have no idea how you find the time, but I hope you keep on finding it.

Oh, please stop sending us all that cold weather...! I'm not used to having to take blocks of ice out of my bird bath.

lisa said...

Meemsnyc-Heh, my boys say the same thing, as they twitch their tails and mew with excitement. (To be honest, my mother was from a huge family who ate squirrels regularly, but just the grays. She says they're "delicious with gravy", but I'm hoping I won't "need" to find out...financially speaking! :)

Cinj-Crochet is really cool, my mom is good at it. My son and his girlfriend knit quite well, but all I can do with much skill is embroidery and cross stitch. I took ceramics in high school, and that was fun too. I sure wish I had the guts to set up my own business doing what I want all day and actually surviving...but I don't. Yet.

Marion-Thank you so much!! I'm afraid I lost your link (and all my others) awhile back, if you'd like me to list it please let me know. I really enjoy watching the birdies as I awaken slowly on the weekends, and the squirrels are sure part of the deal. :)

Jane said...

Those squirrels are too cute! A great photo essay of life as a squirrel.

Jane

EAL said...

Yes, they are sort of cute ... for squirrels ...

troutbirder said...

Ah I don't have reds only grays in my backyard so ignorance rules....... but is this normal??

M. said...

Hahaha! Your squirrels are so cute. And polite too! Ours have been very rude, jumping on the feeder (no matter how hard we try to make it) and opening the top of the feeder, loading up on seed and leaving the rest exposed to rain. Wicked little things! Maybe your hard winter makes them humble. Ours are so bold that when we went out to shoo them away, they chattered and chased us back into the house!

lisa said...

Jane-Thank you!

EAL-Heh, I understand how you feel. I have managed a truce with these guys over the last several years, mostly due to the effective baffles that keep them off my feeders. :)

Troutbirder-To be honest, this is the first year I'd noticed them tunneling. I think it came about because our snow got very deep so early in the season.

M-Luckily the baffles on my feeders do the job, but these guys would be as rude as they could get away with for sure!

chuck b. said...

What a bounty of seeds for those little guys. How much longer before those tunnels melt away?

lisa said...

So far there has been a lot of melting, but I saw one using a tunnel just 2 days ago. Our temps are going back down for a bit too, so I'd guess they have a little while yet.

Dave Coulter said...

Very cool....I wonder if tunneling is limited to red squirrels only? I have never seen that before!

lisa said...

I'd never noticed them before this year, either. It does seem that the grays don't fit in the tunnels, and they're way too big for mice.

WiseAcre said...

That was fun. I'm glad I got a chance to see such behavior. I never knew squirrels tunneled like that.

I spent a good amount of time rummaging through your blog. You've captured some great images and I'm looking forward to seeing more. I'll be back, not only to see everything posted so far but to enjoy what you come up with in the future.

I'm happy you left a comment at my place. I otherwise might never have stumbled upon you.

lisa said...

Thank you very much! I enjoy your blog, and I like your enthusiasm for Looney Tune lore. I was a huge fan as a kid, my favorite is the really old Porky Pig toon where he tries cigarettes and they come to life in his nauseated hallucinations...good times. (BTW, I went to your blog after your comment at A Study in Contrasts-I had to see your "freak flag fly". No luck, just bunny ears :)

MrBrownThumb said...

Lisa,

Like WiseAcre I didn't know they tunneled like that. Cool post as I was reading I was thinking of that game at Chuck E Cheese and then I got to the bottom of your post. LOL.

lisa said...

Me either until this year. Even with a recent warm spell the tunnels are still there. Good thing too, we got 8 more inches of snow in the past 2 days (Feb. 19-21st.) *sigh*...my spring feels months away, but that's how I get duped into procrastinating my seed starting every year. Not this time though...dammit! ;-)

Terra said...

Clever little squirrels. I wonder if these are the only squirrels in the world to make snow tunnels?

lisa said...

I doubt it, but this is the first time I've seen them do it. I suppose it depends upon their "traffic patterns" :)

gintoino said...

They are lovelly! I'm always reading posts about how much of a pest they can be in your garden, but the truth is that I find them adorable (we don't have them around here...)

lisa said...

Thank you, I enjoy them too. (Now if my baffles on the feeders didn't work so well, I may feel differently :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Well, that just made my day! I love squirrels--they're not only cute but so ingenious! I occasionally see a red squirrel; they are so cute and small and act and move a lot more like chipmunks. The only gray squirrels we have are black and very rare. Primarily we have the big honkin' fox squirrels, who don't dig tunnels, but I also don't have raptors...

lisa said...

I'm glad you enjoyed them! We got a really deep snow that covered the tunnels since this post, and the squirrels dug back out!