Sunday, February 16, 2014

How do they know?

When skiing in the woods, I find a lot of holes dug in the snow.

Judging by the tracks and the proximity to the trees, I assume that a squirrel is making them. Sometimes, but not often, I find shells near the holes.

Because the squirrel is not around, I can't ask him:

How do you know where to dig? Do you follow your nose, your memory, or some pull of the earth's magnetic field.

And, what is your success rate? If I find five holes around the tree, am I to assume you found five nuts? Or did you find just one? Or none -- and you went to bed hungry?

And, did you notice, as I did, that the grass, under all that snow, sometimes shows hints of green?

NOTE: For those who like scientific answers ... Scientists aren't sure how squirrels find their stash -- whether it's scent, landmarks or memory. But grey squirrels scatter their nuts throughout an area while red squirrels create little piles of nuts. Thus, the grey squirrel helps re-seed the forest more than the red squirrel. And squirrel connoisseurs often say that the grey squirrel is better eating -- not as gamy as the red.

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