Thursday, May 27, 2010

Squirrel tree.

If you're an Eastern Grey Squirrel, and through some accident of history now live in southern British Columbia, your lot in life can be greatly improved if through other accidents of history oak trees--of which many species share the squirrel's ancestral range-- have been planted nearby.
The heavy trunks and spreading branches are the heart of this rodent's 3-dimensional world. (Avatar is really about squirrels.)

In autumn, acorns are hoarded, along with hickory nuts, beechnuts and Christmas lights, none of which are native here but are relatively easy to find in suburban parks and yards.

Back to oak: in spring, the dangly catkins of oaks are eaten, which I didn't know until I saw this one doing so.


RPS77 said...

Grey squirrels are all over the place here - but at least they are natives. They guarantee that every flower bed will have its share of oak and hickory seedlings, even if the closest oaks or hickories are hundreds of feet away.

Are there any native oaks or hickories in your part of the continent?

Hugh said...

We are at the northern extreme of the range of Garry Oak (southern Vancouver Island and nearby Gulf Islands, one or a few mainland populations.) The Garry Oak ecosystem is one of the most endangered in the province.

RPS77 said...

I hope that they are able to keep some of those oak populations and their ecosystems intact.

Amber Coakley said...

Thanks for teaching me something new today. I did not know that squirrels eat catkins either. Cooool.