Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Squirrels Are Squirreling Things Away!

The triplets LOVE Melba toast...when they eat it all we hear is crunch, crunch, crunch...

Hello Friends :)

I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend! I just wanted to do an update post on the squirrels. Most of the time it's hard to tell them apart now, they've all grown so quickly and are starting to look the same. Nice buffet they have huh?


They have really started to squirrel-away their food...they have "hidden" stashes everywhere around the cage. They love those peanuts and sunflower seeds! One thing we were advised by the wildlife expert was to give them seeds and nuts in shells because they will have to learn how to open them when they're back in the woods; so we switched from shelled nuts and seeds to the ones in the shells. So far they are doing fine opening them up.


You can see Spunky on the left, hiding a peanut under the greenery. They have so much food that they've hoarded...their instinct is to prepare for winter! 


They are still drinking the "mother's milk" but this week we are weening them off of it. They have to get used to drinking water now because there won't be that type of milk in the wild. They are also in "escape" mode. Every time we open the cage door to clean it and fill up on the food supplies, they try their best to dash out. This is a sign they are ready to be released soon.


Another suggestion was to give them pine cones. I brought home a bunch of them on my walk in the woods with the dogs and the squirrels are devouring them really fast!


This close up shows why they are eating them up - they're looking for the pine nuts! It's amazing how their instinct kicks in without their mom to show them how to find those pine nuts. I feel silly that I didn't realize where pine nuts came from lol...Just a quick fact I read:

"The pine cone is only the pine nuts' first shell. Pine nuts have a second shell, which also has to be removed before eating. ... While all pine trees will produce a pine nut, there are only about 18 species that produce nuts large enough to be of value as human food. These trees are found in Asia, Europe and North America." - Huff Post


They eat them like a corn on the cob lol...it's funny to watch! The fact that they're enjoying the pine cones is another great sign that they will do very well once released. After spending the next week weening them off the "mother's milk", it'll be time for stage one of their release, leaving the cage outside by the woods so that they can get used to the sounds/smells/sights of the other critters. 


So that's the rodent news for today! :) Weather wise it's been extremely humid and very hot here in the Laurentians. Lots of thunderstorms.


Which is very bad news for poor Marlene. She is in a constant state of heightened anxiety because of the thunder. I watched a few Cesar Milan videos recently and he has one that shows you how to prepare your anxious dog for fireworks...I'm going to try to apply this technique with Marlene as best as I can to see if it helps her during storms too. There are puddles of her saliva all over the house...gets slippery! Jack has no issue with noises, he'd be more terrified if we ran out of food!

Mustard Greens and Miner's Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

"Green Forest" Romaine Lettuce

My lettuces are finally growing and fast, we've been eating lots of salads lately. 


The sugar pumpkin patch is thriving!


And lookie here! The carving pumpkin seeds finally germinated! The five I started indoors are getting a bit bigger and I have six or seven new plants popping up! So happy! :)


Aaaah...strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream...who can resist? :)

See you Thursday for the art date! The theme is Camping/Campfire.

28 comments:

Stefanie said...

These baby squirrels are sure fun to look at. How much they've grown and glad their natural instincts are working fine despite not having a mama. You are giving them a strong start to life.

Mary said...

I love them, I love them! Much more than my own big ones who are out there as I write gobbling my birdseed! What a wonderful 'mommy' you are to these cuties Rain - and you taught me a lot about how squirrels grow.
Hopefully once released they will stay safe and have many happy years in the wild Laurentians - lucky little critters!

Happy weekend - Mary

jaz@octoberfarm said...

seriously, i think we will all be sad to see the squirrels leave. it's been so much fun watching them. it is pouring here right now and black as night. it won't cool anything off though! my lettuce is done. i pulled it and planted marigolds. i am getting tons of tomatoes but my peppers aren't much bigger than when i planted them. crazy weather...it was 93 here today.

Mama Pea said...

You've provided such a wonderful home for the baby squirrels. And what fun to be able to watch them grow and develop. They certainly do look happy and healthy.

So hard to know what to do in a case like Marlene when the thunder bothers her so much. Poor pup!

NanaDiana said...

You have been such good surrogate parents to those sweet babies, Rain. They are as cute as can be and it always amazes me the instinct babies have to survive.

Great plant pictures, too. Hope you have a wonderful night---xo Diana

Leigh said...

Rain, the squirrels look so good! You two have done a fantastic job of taking care of them. Very interesting about the pine cones. I didn't realize that about squirrels.

Your garden is looking good too. So lush. It's so rewarding to eat food you've grown yourself.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Oh my gosh, such cute squirrels! Spunky is a perfect name. Going to be sad to see them go. No, I think I'll go in search of some ice cream and fruit of some kind!!

Wood Fairy said...

they are coming along well and clearly have all the right instincts for survival. I didn't know squirrels eat pine cones, we have three large pine trees in the wood behind us, no doubt they get plenty to eat - I knew they would eat the pine nuts, but surprised about the cones - one good reason I should stop encouraging them here as there is plenty out in the wild to eat.

Kristina said...

Cute updates on the rodent babies. We have a thundershirt for Jesse. He hates thunderstorms or any load noise and it helps him a lot.

baili said...

thank you sooo much for lovely post dear Rain !

my eyes cannot move away from these amazingly cute pics ,such joyous sights :)

they are absolutely adorable and the way you capture them is wonderful i wonder how you manage it as they must be so naughty :)))

this news is such a relief that they are able to find and eat their natural food

now releasing them will not worry you for sure

i am so happy for you as your plants and veggies are growing wonderfully and i know how soul filling is this :)

i wish hope and pray that your weather may stay favorable as we are trying to survive forty plus here :)

best wishes for art adventure my dear friend!
hugs!

wyomingheart said...

Those precious little babies are simply adorable! They are very lucky to have you and Alex as foster parents! Looks like little Marlene needs a thunder jacket... bless her heart!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I love the squirrel updates and pictures.

Serena Lewis said...

I love, love, love those baby squirrels! What a delight they must be to watch! You are being such perfect parents for them and it's great that you are getting advice from the wildlife experts.

Cody was terrified of storms, fireworks, and loud noises like trucks etc. The vet even labelled him as severe and we tried everything! We even tried the Xanax route but I hated how it made him sluggish for hours afterwards and, when it wore off, he had a ravenous hunger that was sad to watch. He would even raid the household bins. Made me so sad. I understand totally what you go through with Marlene. Cody would shake and pant puddles everywhere too. :(

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Those are three very lucky little squirrels!

RO said...

First things first - strawberries!!!(lol) So funny that you have squirrels as your lead in, who seem so comfy, and fun to watch. The squirrels used in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were actually trained to "attack" the little girl. Actually they ran up to her(lol) Nothing wrong with eating lots of salads to keep healthy. Hugs, RO

Lowcarb team member said...

I just loved your squirrel photographs, lovely to see.

Your greenery is growing so well in the garden. I love salads and you can't beat homegrown lettuce.

Yum! I love strawberries and cream :)

All the best Jan

Fundy Blue said...

Your squirrels are really cute, and how fun to see their instincts kicking in as they hide food for winter, Rain! In Colorado our weather has been on the cooler side, which works for me. Poor Marlene, for sure. My Scottie MacBeath didn't like thunderstorms or fireworks either. Your growing greens look wonderful! I saw a small fawn with spots today ~ What a thrill. Hugs to you!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The triplets have really grown and I know you will miss seeing their antics as will all of us😕but it looks like they will be able to handle themselves OK thanks to your care. The veggies look so good and we were able to get some greens and snap peas at the local farmer’s market this weekend, but sadly no tomatoes, yet. Great looking dessert for a hot and humid eve.

Pam said...

Oh....your babes are growing so FAST. Don't take them long at all, does it? They look so cute. You have done a lot of learning about these babes. Understand about the dog. Dakota used to be really afraid of thunder and fireworks, but its funny, since CheyAnna Bella is here, and so much more worse then THE KING, he seems to calmed down. Maybe he looks at her and thinks she looks silly being scared like that! Who knows! There was the 4th of July with all the fireworks that both of them were shaking and being scared. I gave both a Benadryl and it calmed Dakota, but Chey actually rocked me to sleep on the couch cause she was shaking so hard. Molly is deaf so she was okay and Lily Bit....well she is a cat and it just did not bother her at all. HAHA....

Becki said...

What a delightful post. I really enjoyed catching up on the squirrels. Our "wild" city squirrels love peanuts in shells too. DH likes to share his with them. :) Confession here... I've never even wondered where pine nuts come from. Thanks for sharing all this, Rain!

Susan said...

I wonder if your little squirrel family will stay around. They are so adorable. I am not surprised one bit that they are feasting - after all, they are living with Rain - Food Goddess! Poor Marlene. My dog, Bernie, was terrified of everything. If I wanted to see her in the winter, I couldn't light a fire in the fireplace. Loud noises had her panting and pacing. Have you tried a thunder coat (or whatever they are called)? Luckily, my present crew has no problem with thunder or fireworks. However, my llama was in a state all night on the Fourth, poor old lady.

Judyk2310 said...

I'm going to miss your babies when they go out on their own. What a wonderful experience for you and for us to see their progress. Thanks for sharing!!!

Jenn Jilks said...

Wow. Yum, again! I love your art, as well. I love this time of year for the greens.

Jenn Jilks said...

Oh, yes. Good work on the squirrels.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Rain,

Those three little rascals are so adorable. It's going to be hard to release them. Mmm, the ice cream, strawberries, & whipped cream looks yummy! Hmm, I wasn't sure where pinenuts came from either. I'm glad you showed us. Your plants are looking good. Soon you'll be able to make some fresh salads.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Those babies are so cute, grown up fast! You're so kind to take care of them :)

Nicole said...

Ohhh noooo...it must be releasing time soon. You two did such a great job with those three. Thank u for sharing this lovely story with us ❤ now I want strawberries with icecream and whipped cream ❤

Magic Love Crow said...

What a fun, beautiful post! Thank you Rain! Those squirrels are lucky to have you! I hope Marlene does better with the thunder! Big Hugs!