How many pounds of nuts and seeds do you think a squirrel caches? While the definitive answer is fuzzy (pardon the pun), gray and fox squirrels, the most commonly seen squirrels in our area, probably cache between 50-100 pounds each per year. That's a lot of nuts! They do this by "scatter hoarding" - burying individual nuts all over their territory. Red squirrels are "larder hoarders," burying or covering small collections of nuts in shallow depressions. Some believe squirrels remember where they cache their food, while others believe they sniff out their stores. In fact, they do both, unwittingly providing an important eco-service- uneaten nuts and seeds sprout and grow into future generations of valuable food and habitat for squirrels and others.
September Earth Offerings- hickory nut hulls discarded by busy squirrels re-arranged into patterns. Maybe you'll spot one, or create one, while hiking on the Ice Age Trail.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2021 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.