Squirrels. They're everywhere. They're so common that you kind of block them out after a while. Then one day you're driving along minding your own business, and suddenly one of the furry hoodlums sprints across the road right in front of your car. It's almost like he was actually waiting for your car so he could give you a heart attack as you desperately try to avoid squashing him without causing an accident! What was that little maniac thinking, anyway?
Prepare to be amazed.
Home Sweet Home
Tree cavity dens are choice real estate in the squirrel world, but you're much more likely to spot leaf nests (dreys) in tree—yesterday I counted eleven, just at one corner of our property. Each squirrel builds several dreys in his or her territory, and uses them to get out of the rain, to hide before a hawk spots them, for storage, and for naps. Designs range from simple platforms to sophisticated "pent-houses" so well-built they can last as long as ten years.
Nothing Beats Nuts For Fine Dining
My apartment is in prime squirrel habitat on the eastern edge of Ford Lake. Occasionally, we see Red and Gray Squirrels; but big, flashy Fox Squirrels are in charge. We have lots of black walnut trees where I live, and squirrels love the nuts. Unfortunately, walnuts are encased in a tough green husk when they fall from the tree and gnawing through the husk and then the hard-as-stone shell to get to the nut meat takes up valuable time and energy. So, the squirrels bury the walnuts in the loose soil of my flower bed, then dig them up months later. By that time, the pesky husk has rotted away.
Squirrel-ologists at UC Berkeley offered Fox Squirrels several different kinds of nuts. The squirrels toted the nuts home [where tiny cameras were waiting] and went through them with all the concentra-tion of a trick-or-treater organizing his candy loot. First they separated the almonds, walnuts, hazel-nuts and peanuts into piles. Then they organized them according to size, quality, perishability, nutri-tious value, and (presumably) how well they liked each kind. Finally, the nuts were transferred to sev-eral nests which featured different storage conditions, or they were buried. Splitting up the food stashes helps make sure that even if some of the nuts are stolen, there will still be plenty left, and the whole process helps the squirrels recall what they've got where.
But Wait, There's More...
"Don't just waltz in here and try to start conversations with total strangers! Be. Become. Then the sharing will flow."
This excellent advice came from a Red Squirrel named Tuu-liss. I was new at animal communication back then, and thought I would practice with him because I'd seen him during previous visits to his lakeside home. I hadn't been expecting to be schooled by a master, but I'll never forget the lesson.
Years earlier, I met a squirrel elder who showed me an ugly tumor on his body. I offered to get him veterinary care, but he declined. He had dedicated his life to downloading toxic energies and pro-cessing them, transmuting them within his body, for the greater good.
I used to feed both birds and squirrels with a mixture of oatmeal, peanut butter and raisins in the win-ter; and it was very popular. One day a big female squirrel elder I called Mama was sitting on my fence with her back to me, and I saw a fungal infection on her skin. I began to put out extra oatmeal mix to make sure she was getting enough to eat. A month later, Mama showed me that her bare patch had grown, and the skin was painfully inflamed. Finally, I realized what she was trying to tell me: the food might have been kindly meant, but it was not what squirrels are supposed to eat; and it was making her—and probably other squirrels as well—very sick. I felt devastated.
I replaced the mix with small dishes of water containing Bach flower essences. One day in early spring, I looked out the window and there was Mama on the fence. She showed me that her skin was now almost completely normal, and the fur was growing back. She looked over her shoulder at me, and for just that moment we connected heart to heart, and her big brown eyes were full of gratitude and love for the healing essences I had offered. Another lesson learned.
The Rest of the Story
This article begins with squirrels and cars. I've asked about this, and have been told that it's partly a squirrel game. It can also be a gift to the humans involved: the sudden shock pulls our attention away from our distracted thinking and back into our body (where our attention should be when we are driv-ing). And, it reminds us that humans are not the only species that matters.
Squirrels have a unique ability to captivate and inspire humans. By simply going through their daily lives, they remind us of the importance of balancing work and play, rest and activity, to plan for the future while living in the moment, and to remember that life offers so much more than the structures of our daily routines. That's quite a bit of wisdom in a small furry package.
Peggy River Singer is a heart-centered animal communicator, medium, faerie ally, Reiki practitioner, and life-long writer. She combines her gift for communications with her psychic abilities to help create harmonious rela-tionships among all who share the Earth. Connect by phone at 734-548-0194; and by email at email@example.com. She shares her experiences and insights on her blog, angelsfairiesandlife.wordpress.com.