Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Tree-hugging Topics

I was accused of being a tree-hugger today, and then someone else told me squirrel and oak tree stories, so I'm digging up a bunch of related stuff. (Plus I'm avoiding writing my Xmas cards that have to be done.)

Apparently it's been a bad year for acorns, so the winter might be lean for the squirrels and chipmunks. It seems that squirrels are choosy about which acorns they eat right away (white oak acorns are the dark chocolate of acorns) and which they cache away (the red oaks'): Researchers Tackle The Nutty Truth On Acorns And Squirrels. Hiding them does plant trees, as you might expect, since they forget about some of them. Or maybe it's intentional-- they need these trees too! I find it endearing that squirrels are crafty and paranoid and resort to tricks to hide their stash, including pretending to bury stuff -- for any watching nut-predators-- and then running away with the real loot.

And here's the Op-Ed piece in the NY Times by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, who relates democracy to environmental concerns and suggests we all plant a tree. "But today in Nyeri, as in much of Africa and the developing world, water sources have dried up, the soil is parched and unsuitable for growing food, and conflicts over land are common. So it should come as no surprise that I was inspired to plant trees to help meet the basic needs of rural women."


KeithHandy said...

All rodents are clever. One of our mice hated her name ("Bunny") so much that she pretended to be a boy so that we would call her Rupert. Now of course she goes by Rupee.

Lynn said...

From being a gerbil keeper as a kid, I have no trouble believing they're all secretly poets and architects and chemists. I love rodents. But the idea of squirrels actually pretending to bury stuff to throw off the watchers really tickles me.