Cute Yard Squirrels {and Our Walnut Tree}

This is what’s been going on in our yard, under our walnut tree, by our three resident squirrels.

From the middle of July until about the end of August one-half to three-fourths of our driveway looks like this except for a brief hour or two after we sweep it off.

Walnuts on driveway

The cause?
There’s a whole lot of walnut eating going on.

At the side of our house we have a big, beautiful English walnut tree that over-hangs part of our driveway that is not only lovely to look at but provides much desired shade in the heat of summer.

But it’s messy.
And when it’s loaded with nuts the branches hang down so low we can barely walk under it.
Every year we toss around the idea of cutting it down.
But in the end we just trim it and let the squirrels have their feast.

Even though there are thousands of nuts we’ve never harvested them for ourselves.
We let these cute little guys celebrate the nut harvest by eating to their heart’s content.

Here’s one of the squirrels choosing his next nut:

Squirrel Choosing a Walnut

All throughout the nut harvesting season we can watch one, or two, or three squirrels choose a nut and then either sit on the driveway or take it over to the grass to open and eat it, which only takes about 5 minutes per nut.  They sure can send a lot of those babies down their gullets!

They bury a good amount of them, too.  In our yard.
Which makes our grass little bit lumpy and hard to walk on until they dig them back out.

You know how hard walnut shells are and how hard they are to break open, right?
In fact, they are so hard they don’t even break when I stand on them.
But squirrels sure can get into them.
They don’t crack or break these nuts open though.
They use their chisel-type teeth to gently {yet quickly} gnaw and chew through them.

Ah-hah!  That’s their secret.
I wonder… well, no, on second thought, I don’t think I want to try their technique.
I’ll just go buy a nut cracker if I ever want to eat them.

Isn’t he {or she ~ how would we know?} cute?
Cute Yard Squirrel

I’ve heard that squirrels only live a few short years so when we’ve thought we always have the same squirrels in our yard they probably aren’t.  Yet, we’ve never had more than three.  I wonder how/when/where they multiply.  We’ve never seen baby squirrels ~ only squirrels about the size in these pictures.

These squirrels of ours {well, you know what I mean} are fun to watch and have around.  We love to watch them chase around after one another in our backyard and run up and down the trees and watch our dog chase them up a tree and listen to them scamper over our roof and eat our nuts.  We even have a squirrel feeder in our backyard, which you can read a little bit about {here}.  They’ve never been a nuisance to us but I remember years ago my father in-law had squirrel traps so he could capture the ones that made it to their yard and then take them a mile, or so, away to their local park.

For us, these squirrels offer many stop-and-smell-the-roses moments.
My mom really enjoys them, too.

Three cheers for life’s simple pleasures.

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