A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Loss and A Gain

I've lived in my current house for over a decade. The neighbor's oak tree which shades my driveway in the summer has always had a squirrel's nest in it. Unlike the other squirrels' nests in the neighborhood which are located in the branches of trees, this one was built in a crotch:

I've always marvelled at how sturdy those nests in the branches are, seemingly made of only sticks and leaves. Why do they never blow away? What holds them together? What holds them on to the branches? I never worried about the nest in the oak tree. Nestled securely between two trunks, it seemed invincible.

After the blizzard in February, I checked on all the squirrels' nests in the trees around my house. As usual, they had all weathered the storm with no problem. But horror of horrors, the nest in the oak tree was gone!

I've missed that nest. I never realized I always looked for it when I came out of my back door. The squirrels still chase each other up and down the oak tree. They still run up it for safety when I come out of the house. But it seems empty with no resident squirrels.

This morning, as I was pulling into the driveway on my way home from work, I noticed a new squirrel's nest. I know that it is a new one because it is located in the tree in front of my house. That tree has never had a nest in it. For years I have wondered why there was no nest in that tree. I wondered what it was about it that made it such an undesirable location. Not large enough? Too close to the street? Too close to the house?

Whatever the reason, it didn't stop this squirrel. Thanks to all the wind storms we have had lately, there were lots of sticks and leaves for him or her to use to build his/her new home. I left some sunflower seeds at the base of the tree as a house-warming gift.


At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

Perhaps the squirrel packed up his nest and moved it to the other tree? It is quite fascinating. You have a much nicer attitude about squirrels than I have. Squirrels & I (my garden!) don't get along. I lost so many plants & bulbs to squirrels when I gardened in the city. They would also vocally intimidate me as I worked outside. I do marvel, however, at what their nests are built of & their survival instincts.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger RusticateGirl said...

I just came across your blog and immediately liked it. I just ordered The Fairy for this year and am anxious to see how it does. Enjoyed your blog!

At 5:45 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Judith, I have a love/hate relationship with the squirrels in my yard. They eat my bulbs and plants and now they are munching my rosebushes. I've tried feeding them hoping that would divert them. Instead, it seems to have attracted more of them!

At 10:10 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Maybe they were saving their nuts before making a downpayment on streetside property. Sorry I couldn't resist.


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