This morning while breakfast was cooking, I learned the real meaning of the word "squirrely" which is often used to describe weird people. A gray squirrel was climbing on the lower limbs of a maple tree that seems to be trying to create its own maple grove. Around the bottom of the tree, many branches, three to eight feet long, have grown up. These branches are thin and flexible and are all boasting new buds.

The squirrel would jump up, grab one of these branches, and hang upside down, bouncing in the air. Sometimes he would nibble on a bud. Then he would jump to another branch, or fall to the ground and start all over. His antics made me think of a cat that had been hitting the catnip a little too much! Either bouncing from branch to branch or ground to branch and back again, he was so animated that I couldn't take my eyes off him.

After some time he ran off to another tree and disappeared into the branches above.

Don DenTandt
August 2008