Dear Readers, yesterday I finally got around to planting up my crocuses and grape hyacinths, and this morning it looked as if every single pot had at least borne the weight of a squirrel. What are they like, honestly? It’s absolutely true that if you design a garden to be attractive to wildlife, you can’t really dictate who will turn up, but when I looked out of the window there was not one, not two, but three squirrels, two of whom appeared to be bonking. I was a bit surprised, but as the mating season is usually between December and February they were only a little bit early. Gestation is 38 to 46 days, so maybe we’ll have some Christmas babies. I’m sure that the plentiful food supply in gardens (including bulbs clearly) helps with their breeding success. Females often breed again in late summer, mating in June/July and producing babies in August/September, just when all the hazelnuts, acorns and beech mast is coming out.
Of course I have replanted my bulbs (which were in pretty deep in the first place I thought). And it’s difficult to be annoyed for long. Plus I’m not sure that they’re actually eating the bulbs – I know that they prefer tulips, and I generally don’t plant those as they aren’t a lot of good for pollinators, pretty as they are.
And then they were back to their usual tricks, i.e. hanging by their tippy-toes to get at the premium sunflower seeds. They are clearly the most acrobatic animals in the garden.
And for anyone who didn’t see it last time, have a look at the videos in this post – they are from the spring of 2020, when we were locked down and spending a lot of time in the garden. If you scroll past the good news on butterflies, you’ll see all sorts of squirrel shenanigans.