30 November 2008

Home for the holidays

He is a fat squirrel, but that's nothing new for our yard.

He is also "the tilted squirrel," which is what we call him when we see him - which is quite often - because he is the only one who walks in a kind of sideways fashion, with his head pressing up against an imaginary wall.

His balance is fine, however, and he can scrap with the best and the rest of them when it comes to claiming our tossed pecans and almonds as his own. He runs, he buries, he chatters and he is as able-bodied as he can be under the circumstances. I admire his grace and his spirit.

So it was particularly gratifying to discover, on Thanksgiving Day, where he is living: He has made his home nest in the tallest tree in our yard, the sycamore tree, which hosts one of several wooden nestboxes we have installed on our property. I have seen him sitting atop it, sunning himself, at times, and once or twice have spied his face peering out in inclement weather, as if he were waiting for the green light from some unseen squirrel meteorologist.

I love that he is there, that he has a home, and that he does not have to go far (except to the base of the tree and, of course, our deck) to get what he needs in life. We will happily provide for him during this tough season when "plenty" is hard to come by.

The Tilted Squirrel is home for the holidays - and the home in this case happens to be our home.

What a privilege that is.


Kat Mortensen said...

We had a "tilted" squirrel too - a few years back. I can't remember what we called him. No, wait! I do remember...it was "Wombat". He looked like a wombat and was so cute. He knew his name too and would come whenever I called him for his daily rations. He was around for a couple of years, but I believe the tilt was some sort of brain issue because eventually he tilted far more until he just disappeared one day, never to return. We were so glad we could make his last times happy and well-nourished ones.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

I am so glad he has a safe place to call home. What a great Thanksgiving treat to get to see him.

Henry the Dog said...

How lovely for you knowing that he's back and safe now for the winter. Excuse my complete ignorance but just how cold does it get where you are? We had minus 10 one morning a couple of days ago and we consider that VERY VERY cold, especially for south west France. Mum worries about all the little animals and birds when it gets that cold and she always puts food out throughout the winter.

squirrelmama said...

Hi Henry, Brrrrrrrrr!! Minus one degrees in your part of the world is just below freezing in our part of the world. It is the equivalent of about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (and freezing, on our American scale, is 32 degrees). It gets much much much colder than that, though, in the northeastern U.S., we have had the equivalent of temperatures in the teens (on your scale, -10 degrees or thereabouts). Now you can see why our squirrels are so fat!

Kat Mortensen said...

Hi SQ Mama! Stop by my blog for a well-deserved award.

Btw - did you get those quiz challenges on FB?



Anonymous said...

I have question: I'm feeding squirrels to lure them to my yard (after someone, I hope mistakenly, poisoned many of them in the neighborhood). What's the ratio of nuts to squirrel? Four a day? six a day? Etc.

A Dallas animal-lover

squirrelmama said...

Hi Anonymous,
Your suspicion about the poisonings is troublesome. I recall a posting not so long ago about a beautiful female squirrel in Dallas that died of a poisoning - that may have been your posting, as I recall - and it is upsetting that this is still going on.
I would encourage you to put out as many nuts as you are able, most especially as early in the morning as you can, since that is when squirrels are most active (and at dusk as well). Obviously that doesn't negate the need to feed during the day but mornings are truly the time they are out and foraging in earnest.
There is no true "ratio" since squirrels at this time of year will eat some of the nuts and bury (or dig up and rebury) others.
Please do keep us posted on what is happening in your part of Texas, ok? It is worrisome, to say the least, and I hope it is not poisonings.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for tilted squirrel--and his very nice landlord!

squirrelmama said...

Mister Tilty continues to thrive, even after two days of rain and icy snow. I was delighted to see him out in the yard today kicking butt and taking his share of the walnuts!