Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two squirrels.

I’m basically passing time on a real nasty day. It’s trying to rain or SNOW here past the middle of May! A strange year for sure.

Anyway, I’m experimenting with different ways of posting video here, and using different hosts. Here is a piece of video showing the 2 most common squirrels found here. It was actually shot last fall when the squirrels were gathering acorns from an oak tree in my yard, and was taken right out of my dining room window.

The squirrel on the stump is a California Ground Squirrel. You might compare them to the prairie dogs of the Midwest, except that these squirrels don’t live in so called “towns”. They dig their holes or burrows indiscriminately, pretty much scattered all over the place. They can really be pests, and neither gardeners or hay farmers are very fond of them.

The other squirrel, the one busy burying acorns in my yard for later use, is a California or Western Gray Squirrel. The Gray is a tree squirrel, and rates high on the menu at my table. I know of no one who eats the ground squirrels, although I have no doubt that the local Native American Indians weren’t as picky and ate them in years gone by. The ground squirrel’s habit of living in burrows makes them prime candidates to carry mange, and in some cases plague. Of course plague was unknown here until it was introduced from Europe by fleas, carried by the rats aboard the early sailing ships; so up until that time it was probably pretty safe to eat the ground squirrels. If push came to shove, and I was really up against it, I’d still eat the ground squirrels today. After all, the chance of catching plague is pretty remote, and as long as the squirrel shows no sign of mange it is probably safe. But until then I’ll continue to avoid the ground squirrel and eat the tree squirrels.


Leigh said...

Great video Bob and very interesting post. Thank you!

Bob Mc said...

Good morning Leigh. There are a couple of other squirrels common here, but not so much here at the house. They are found a little higher on the mountain. One is the Chipmunk which most people are probably familiar with; at least in pet stores if nowhere else. To small to consider as table fare. The other is the Douglas Squirrel, commonly called the Pine Squirrel. Larger than a Chipmunk, but still not very big; it is considered uneatable. I've never tried one myself, but I've been told they taste strongly of turpentine.