What a difference a few days make. We've gone from balmy springlike weather to an ice storm. Storms always make me wonder how the squirrels stay warm and dry all winter.One of my favorite things about fall is idenfity this plant
all the leaves have fallen and I can see the squirrels' nests in the trees. They build them in the most amazing places, way up near the tops of the trees and usually out near the ends of the limbs. The nests appear to be just piles of leaves. I wonder what holds them together. This fall, I made a point of searching the oak tree next to my driveway for a nest. There were many territorial disputes over this tree all summer so I knew there had to be a nest in it. At first, I didn't see one. Then I looked lower and there it was, in what was to my mind at least, a more logical place. Lower down and more securely placed in a crook in the trunk where it splits into large limbs. Now I am wondering why this squirrel placed his/her nest so differently from the rest of the neighborhood squirrels.I'm quite concerned about the squirrels this year. Not just because of the weather. There was a dead squirrel in my neighbor's backyard in the last week of December and then the very next day, another dead one in my backyard. They can't be starving because the weather has been so mild they should have been able to find enough food. I don't think it is the neighborhood cats hunting them. Cats always bring their successful kills home to show off to their owners. I know this because our first cat was a mighty hunter and brought home many "trophies". Is someone poisoning the squirrels? I can understand why. They are an enormous nuisance, eating plants in the gardens and raiding the birdfeeders.I also noticed that there seem to be far fewer nests this year than in previous years. I didn't notice that there were fewer squirrels this summer. Is it because they are territorial and the squirrels who "own" my yard are alive and well but there is a decline in the population of other yards? After I have placed my seed orders and planned my gardens, perhaps I will do a bit of research into squirrel behavior and get some answers to my questions.