Blogs by Hilary Hopkins


Squirrel 1, Human 0

October 20, 2014 / Squirrel 1, Human 0

Oh this is not what you think—the squirrels getting into my bird feeder or even my attic.

Nope, this is about the STRENGTH of SQUIRRELS. 

Walking along yesterday, I noticed some fruits—nuts--strewn about the sidewalk.  Some were still in their big round green or browning husks, others were liberated and were seen to be dark brown and heavily-corrugated.  Black walnuts, they were.  Their parent tree had already dropped its leaves but some fruits hung on still, on the bare branches above. I remembered how when I was a little girl we had a black walnut tree in our yard, and my Mother always told me that the wood was valuable. 

Being a naturalist, of course I picked up some of these fruits, thinking to take them home and open them.   I stuck a couple into my purse and started out again. 


But then I noticed a little midden (a trash-pile, as it were) on the top of a low wall just down from the walnut tree.  There lay a walnut, in pieces, and a chewed-open husk it obviously had come from.  No nutmeats inside the wreckage of the walnut, at all.  Squirrel business.

When I got home, I thought, oh excellent, now I can crack open my own black walnuts and see what’s inside.  You can see in the image just how successful I was.  Not.  My husband tried, too, and he’s strong.  No luck. 


See, each of us animals (and plants) is equipped to do what we need to do to travel successfully through this world.  Neither my husband nor I have to crack open black walnuts with our teeth in order to get food.  That is a good thing since we can’t.  A squirrel, though, has to, and he can.  Isn’t that well-arranged?

I will just put these two black walnuts out on the deck for the visiting squirrels.


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