[NAFEX] squirrel silo

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Wed Dec 7 15:15:09 EST 2011

What a video that would make!

Grapes, writing, consulting, book, The Grape Grower, at http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner  GWA "Best Talent in Writing"  2003. 
Grape pruning video: http://www.bunchgrapes.com/dvd.html View a short, low resolution clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q58zFY0B1M
A video about The Grape Grower : http://cookingupastory.com/index.php/2008/04/18/the-grape-grower/

On Dec 7, 2011, at 11:07 AM, Alan Haigh wrote:

I was removing rocks from a part of my nursery today and while lifting one
particularly heavy one I noticed a large tunnel about a foot underground.
It seemed much too wide for voles or even a chipmunk.

Removing another sizable stone a foot away revealed something I've never
seen before. The first thing I saw was a lot of carefully shredded and
completely dry leaves- quite a trick considering all the rain we've been
getting. There's been enough dry weather to gather some dry leaves but
water was being deflected from the compartment by the placement of the
stones- the surrounding soil was very moist.

I began pulling the shredded leaves out of this cavity. It was of about 8"
diameter and the leaves were packed in there as tight as possible. Near the
top there was quite a few of some kind of seeds or maybe even pine nuts- I
didn't examine them closely. As I got to the bottom, about 18" deep, I
found a stash of filbert nuts from some trees I planted nearby but never
seem to get any of the nuts. I began cracking them and enjoyed the sweet
meat. As I searched for more I found a cavity half way down and running
horizontally that contained a large stash of acorns- almost a pound.

This nut cellar was ingenious in its design, with 3 distinct compartments,
each containing a different food. The leaves had been chewed down to the
perfect size to function as packing material. This was a much more
carefully constructed and complicated nut cellar than I would have thought
possible of craft squirrels (sorry, a weak play on craftsmen).
These are grey squirrels, mind you, not ground squirrels, and yet there was
a tunnel running underground some distance from this construction. We do
have a few forest rats, but this construction seemed much too grand for
this species and I would expect some sign of their presence because rats
would probably be living in their storage quarters. You can't miss the
smell of voles and rats.

I am awestruck at the ingenuity of my enemy tree rats. Fate has dictated
that these animals be my sworn enemy, but in another life I would have
nothing but admiration for such a clever species.
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