No one would say that squirrels are intellectual or wise. But they must know something because they have altered what we recall as previous behavior. We have had several years where acorn production was amazing, where there were areas where we simply walked on a carpet of acorns but this last fall was not that outstanding in acorn production. Nevertheless, for the first time in our recent memories, the squirrels seem to have planted every acorn they could get their little paws on, because we have so far found hundreds of new little oak trees sprouting up everywhere.
We have pulled up little oaks in flower beds, mowed them in the lawn, and found them sprouting up even in the potted plants that summer outside but which winter inside our garden room. We laugh that if we stopped pulling up the little sprouts, we would very quickly be living in an entire oak grove.
Aside from all that, our resident squirrel, who we have named Sid, seems to have lost all fear or inhibition when we are around. He boldly comes to glean fallen bird seed from the bird feeder. He cannot access the bird feeder, but there’s all those lovely bits the messy birds drop. The other day we were sitting on the patio, looked down, and there was Sid, apparently eavesdropping on our conversation.
So what with all this unusually intensive planting of acorns and this lack of caution around us, we cannot help but ask, “What do squirrels know?”