Monthly Archives: November 2012

Do Squirrels Like to Play?

Squirrels, chipmunks and bird on a scale

Here at the edge of the wood we have seen some goofy behavior. It looks like pure fun to us, but is it? Squirrel authority Richard  W. Thorington  states in Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide,  “juvenile squirrels that engaged in more social play had increased motor skills…additionally, females that engaged in more social play as juveniles, weaned more young as yearlings than those females that engaged in less social play…(which) suggests that play behavior is essential to a squirrel’s physiological development, including neuromuscular control, bone growth, lung capacity and overall physical stamina and coordination.” Well, if that’s the case, anyone for a game of catch?

Happy Thanksgiving from the Squirrels

Squirrels play on the hay

All of us at the edge of the wood wish you a lovely Thanksgiving celebration. Jennifer Saranow Schultz at the New York Times suggests NOT shopping on Black Friday. She believes the goods aren’t that good, the deals are mostly hype, the day encourages overspending and shopping doesn’t  fit into the Thanksgiving spirit. May we suggest a brisk nature walk in the woods, a game of touch football, or baking a nice apple pie? Don’t forget to leave a slice out for the squirrels.

Hurricane Edition III- Did the Birds Cancel All Flights?

Cardinal flies by

Here at the edge of the wood we thought everyone would need a little extra energy for the storm, so we put out plenty of food. Birds, who need to fly through the strong winds to find shelter and flee from danger, were of particular concern.. Natalie Angier writes in the NYT,  “…powerful new satellite tracking studies of birds on the wing — including one that coincided with the height of Hurricane Sandy’s fury — reveal birds as the supreme masters of extreme weather management, able to skirt deftly around gale-force winds, correct course after being blown horribly astray, or even use a hurricane as a kind of slingshot to propel themselves forward at hyperspeed.” She goes on to quote Gary Langham, chief scientist of the National Audubon Society in Washington. “The only way they can accomplish that is to have amazing abilities that are far beyond anything we can do.”  Maybe we need some university level courses taught by these birds so we can all remain on track throughout our lives.

Hurricane Edition II- Do Squirrels Need People?

Squirrel looking into camera

There are country squirrels and there are city squirrels. The city squirrels seem to like the bright lights, the bustle, and sweet talking  folks into sharing lunch. As New York City closed down for hurricane Sandy, intrepid, adorable and famed street style photographer, octogenarian Bill Cunningham, raced around the city on his trusty bicycle capturing the scene. “At Madison Park on Tuesday, the squirrels were so hungry they came out of the park and, hoping for food, jumped on the laps of people sitting on sidewalk benches.” he wrote. Here at the edge of the wood we think it is always good to be prepared, but we all need some help sometime. Maybe someone needs you.

Hurricane Edition

standing osprey nest

Here at the edge of the wood we want to send our good wishes out to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Everyone here continued snacking through it all, and all seem quite safe. The only inconvenience was when a team of utility workers lit up the night at a favorite owl hunting ground. They were not happy, and hooted up a…storm until the intruders left. We want to note that several of the giant osprey nests on the causeway stayed right where their raptor builders had put them.  Congratulations to them for a fine engineering job.