Monthly Archives: October 2012

Are Squirrels Geeks?

squirrel on birch branch

Here at the edge of the wood, well, we don’t like to call names, but yes, squirrels are as smart as some geeks, but only seasonally. The portion of a squirrel’s brain associated with memory actually grows 15% in the fall. Scientists think this helps them remember where they have buried nuts for the long winter ahead. Or maybe it’s because when they go back to school they will ace those spelling pop quizzes. Here is a little student standing on a birch log, surrounded by late fall cosmos flowers and hanging wild blueberries.

Are Squirrels Good Investment Bankers?

Squirrel among the blooming daisies

Here at the edge of the wood a dedicated band of animal cognitive behavior researchers have come to our attention. Cal Squirrel at UC Berkeley is studying similarities between squirrel and human behavior. When looking into caching, Mikel Delgado states,  “We’re finding that squirrels are not making random decisions… they’re thoughtful about their investments.” The work is being conducted under psychology professor Lucia Jacob with the help of the campus squirrels. So we applaud these squirrels for their wise deployment of capitol. Are we surprised? No. After all, only 25% of everyone who applies to Berkeley is accepted. So they must be some pretty smart squirrels to begin with. Here is one posing among the Montauk daisies, mum daisies and hanging groundsel bush.

Artist Tribute: Helen Levitt

Squirrels and BubblesHelen Levitt was one of the best street photographers of all time. She showed us those small magic moments in a gritty New York City of the 30’s and 40’s. She is particularly known for her photos of children taken in a world where television, air conditioning and the internet were yet to draw us all inside. The streets belonged to the neighborhood; they were a second living room. At the edge of the wood we particularly enjoy the image of girls entranced by soap bubbles. Helen Levitt was a triple threat, a photographer, editor and filmmaker. The squirrels admire her for her passionate career.

Harvest Time for Everyone

Fall and the Squirrels

At the edge of the wood the squirrels and chipmunks are stocking up on the abundance  of fall food for the long winter ahead. Everyone seems to enjoy the cool autumn temperatures, and frisky play abounds. Here the squirrels are among the newly ripe pumpkins and pears; flowering anise hyssop and globe amaranth, and hanging chokeberry bush.

Should Wild Turkeys Be the National Bird?

Wild Turkey!Here at the edge of the wood we remember our favorite founding father, scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin. In a letter to his daughter he stated his preference for the wild turkey. He wrote, “I am on this account not displeased (about) a Bald Eagle…. for the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” We admire the wild turkeys. They are curious, fearless, love a good get together, and have beautiful feathers suitable for any social occasion.