05 November 2008

3 squirrels, 3 wishes

It turned dark around 5 p.m. today and a light rain had already begun to fall, growing more steady with the minutes.

They're out there now, and survival is up to them.

Three little sisters, young orphaned squirrels, who were brought to us in September, have grown so increasingly wild over time I knew it would be unwise to try and overwinter them. We weren't just racing the clock now but the seasons: today was the day they had to be set free.

Ideally you want a day with moderate temperatures, which we had, but a forecast of dry weather is usually best. We released early - got them into the woods by 9 a.m. - because anything less than 7 or 8 hours of daylight for nest-building and checking out the surroundings is simply not sufficient.

Last night they were warm in a nestbox and they could have been kept safe forever, if only I had the time and the space, and if only they were not the wild creatures that nature intended them to be.

So we went forward into the woods this morning together, and their departure was swift and joyful. My wishes for them, then, are for a swift acclimation to their new and natural home, a joyful existence there, and all the safety that nature and their own wits can grant them.


geeky Heather said...

Good luck, little guys!!

Unknown said...

Nice people to take care of them like that. I'm sure they will have a good winter!

Kat Mortensen said...

It's kind of like taking your kids to school for the first time, I would imagine. Did you get all teary-eyed? (Tell the truth!)


squirrelmama said...

Sometimes I get a lump in my throat. Sometimes I do get tears in my eyes....but usually that comes when I am releasing a single squirrel - an older adult that recovered from being hit by a car or some other trauma. If I am sending a group out together, I am usually happy for them, and hope that they stick together at least for the short term. But still, even today, I am thinking of those 3 and hoping their days and nights have been good.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I think they will be having a great time experiencing their world.

squirrelmama said...

yes thanks, I do have to hope that their first few days, despite the slight rain, have presented a good intro to the world for them. At least I know they are getting lots of water to drink!