At The Edge of the Wood we revere scientists. For 19 years, the owl researcher Denver Holt has journeyed to Barrow, Alaska, to study the lemmings and owls. Holt says, “If climate change results in habitat changes and it affects the lemmings, it will show up in the snowy owls because 90 percent of their diet is lemmings. The owls are the key to everything else.” The health of owls tell us about the health of our world. So get to know an owl. She might have something important to tell you.
At The Edge of the Wood we always enjoying watching everyone prepare for winter. Here we see a Blue Jay and a squirrel vying the delicious sweet fruit of the kousa dogwood tree. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site the Blue Jay’s “…fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.” No wonder the Blue Jays are always talking up a storm. They are probably exchanging gardening tips.
When it’s a House Finch. They like to nest under the eaves of buildings, thus the name, though they also will nest in trees, shrubs, and on the ground. The House Finch has not always been found in the eastern United States. In 1940, they were illegally captured in California and imported to New York by pet dealers. Fearing prosecution, the dealers released their “Hollywood Finches” on Long Island in 1940. Since then the finches have spread to all corners of the east and have even rejoined their relatives in the west. It seems even Hollywood was too small for this little finch.
Here At the Edge of the Wood no one is fooled by this fake but it is good reminder that squirrels are flesh and blood not mere cardboard cut-outs. Thoreau writes in Walden, “The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.” So slow down and drive the speed limit! You can smell the roses along the way and spare a furry friend his life.
The Edge of the Wood would like to salute Abby Putterill. Putterill, 16, adopted Hammy, a mopane squirrel, two months ago after the tiny animal was found injured and abandoned at Zimbabwe’s Bally Vaughan Wildlife Sanctuary, which is owned by Putterill’s parents. The little orphan is living in her hair. She just let Hammy stay in her ponytail after he climbed in and got comfy one day. Besides sleeping and showering, the pair are virtually inseparable, she said. Here’s to Abby! She already knows that home is where the heart is.