Saturday, April 21, 2018

Still Life with Robin: And Not So Still Life with Squirrels

Photo by Diliff via Wikimedia Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

Another Squirrel Week has ended. Washington Post’s “local color” columnist John Kelly has been bringing us  his annual Squirrel Week for the past decade plus one year, but this one was the best yet. Maybe I’m prejudiced by the fact that he kicked it off with a tribute to “Outwitting Squirrels,” the “how-to” classic for anyone intent on feeding the birds, not those seeding-stealing, bushy-tailed little rodents – and the author of that volume of wisdom (now in its 30th year in print) just happens to be our very own Cleveland Park Listserv co-founder, Bill Adler. That premiere column of Squirrel Week 2018 is here:
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Two introduced us to a thorny ethical question, “Is it right to try to eliminate an invasive species to save a native species?” (And the related question in evolutionary biology is, “If you decide it’s ethical – will it work?” The battle against the American Gray (or Grey) Squirrel in the UK to try to save the smaller, and arguably much cuter, British red squirrel is detailed in the second column of the week:
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Three brought us some very practical info on How to Conduct a Squirrel Census. (Didn’t you always want to know that?)
[or if the long link is broken]

But I think most people will say that the true highlight of the week came on Day Four, with the top results of the annual squirrel photography contest. Even when they’re thieving your birdseed, you have to admit they’re adorable! Scroll down to the last shot of the sleeping squirrel, and see if you can argue with that!
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Five finished out the week on the high-toned note of Squirrel Art:
[or if the long link is broken]

And if all that wasn’t enough for one week, you can also take John Kelly’s SQ Test (that’s Squirrel Quotient) to find out how much you know about squirrels:
[or if the long link is broken]

I found I did not know as much as I thought I did….but I’m already waiting for my chance when next week’s Squirrel Week rolls (or leaps) around again.

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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