You may not know this about me, but I am a huge animal lover. Of course, I love dogs and cats, but I love all animals. Even gators, lions, tigers, bears and more! I often sit at my kitchen table to write. I have a wonderful view of the wildlife that surrounds our house. I choose to feed the birds and critters all year long; because they bring me peace while I watch them out my window. I get to enjoy seeing wild turkeys, possums, raccoons, deer, squirrels and lots of birds! It’s like my own wildlife reality show.
Not long ago I was reading an article, on the National Wildlife Federation blog spot, that stated a great many of the trees in our forests are planted by squirrels! I suppose it makes sense. If a squirrel does not dig up the acorn, they hid in the Fall by that Spring, that it would probably sprout. I never put the two together before but knowing this has brought a much greater appreciation for squirrel shenanigans than I have had previously.
Every place the Adventure Sisters camp, the squirrels are always the first to visit us. A couple of years ago while my husband and I were camping with Stacy and Marty, we were all woken by a feisty red squirrel throwing pine nuts onto our kayaks we had stored under his tree. I am sure the squirrel was just throwing them onto the ground, so it could more easily gather them for safe keeping later. Each time it dropped one, it sounded like a small firecracker going off at 6 am.
Marty called out to my husband from his tent. “Is that you Jay?” my husband replied; “Nope. It’s the squirrels pelting us with pine nuts.” Jason had woken up early and was reading a book in his camping chair, just watching the whole situation go down. At the urging of our campsite critters, we all decided it was just time to get up and enjoy the morning too.
Squirrels make me laugh as they hang upside down raiding the bird feeders, no matter where I try to put them. They will chase each other and do acrobatics all over the porch and in the yard. Squirrels have also learned to communicate with me through the windows. I swear they peak right into my window, holding their little paws together as if they are praying. Then look at me with their big adorable eyes and seem to say; “Excuse me Mama, but the feeder is empty, and we would all like some more.” As I imagine them speaking in a Tiny Tim voice.
It just goes to show, that all animals on this planet have a purpose. From the pollinating bees to the eagles in the trees. The squirrels that reside in the live oaks of the south or the mighty pines of the north; are all a huge asset to our forest environment. Our forests produce oxygen that keeps us alive, provides shelter, prevents soil erosion, filter groundwater, and give us beautiful views. Squirrel should probably be every environmentalist mascot if you ask me!
I fully believe that all animals are sentient beings with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Any animal that can show fear, can also show affection. If cats and dogs can express their selves, then so can any other animal. If you take time to observe them, you can see it too. I like to respect all animals, as I do any other living being, because we are all here for a reason.
By giving the squirrels the space, they need to feel safe and help them put food in their bellies; I feel like I am doing a small part to help keep our little piece of forest alive and show my appreciation. They are giving me way more than I give them. I hope this blog helps you see the magic in all the critters we have been blessed to share this planet with. They are helping us and the planet!
Wishing you an abundance of magical blessings!
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister
*pictures taken at my home in Princeton, MN.