Tag Archives: squirrels

A squirrel and the Legion of the Shadow Tails

A squirrel and the Legion of the Shadow Tails
One may argue that every appendage is important, but in the case of a squirrel, the tail is probably the most important. It's used to keep them warm in winter, to provide shade in summer, it's a means of communication, a counterweight to balance with, a wing and parachute for jumping between branches, and a shield when fighting.

Some would suggest that the Greeks gave them the name "Shadow Tail" because they use their tail to provide shade in summer. Don't believe it though - I overheard from a friend of a friend of a friend that all squirrels are part of a secret society, a club (if you will), that goes by the name Legion of the Shadow Tails.

Yes. You should be worried. You just need to look at the pics below to know that they're up to something.

Squirrel in the garden

Squirrel in the garden
One either has to be really fast, or really lucky to photograph a squirrel dashing across a branch. I'm probably really lucky. :)

I found little Egbert (his mom named him after King Egbert of Wessex, I believe), scurrying between trees looking for the best acorn nuts. He, naturally, dashed up the side of a large oak tree as soon as I approached to get a better look. I think he thought I was trying to follow him to his secret stash. I wasn't.

The place where I found Egbert is a small park in Cape Town, over the road from the well-known Rafikis restaurant and bar in Kloof Nek road (map). The little park has two or three large oak trees and is surrounded by a beautiful chest-high fence. It has a few swings, a seesaw, and a climbing gym for kids. It even has a couple of benches where parents can rest while kids work off their excess energy.

It's a lovely little park and worth popping in to if you're in the area.

Squirrel power – defending the nut

Squirrels on the grass
One of the best things to do on a warm afternoon is to sit outside on the lawn of the Mount Nelson hotel, sipping cooldrink and watching squirrels run to and fro grabbing acorns from the grass and dashing up the large oak trees to hide their treasured possession.

Squirrels, your probably know, hide their nuts in a stash. What you may not be aware of is that since certain acorns contain high levels of bitter tannins, squirrels may at times let the acorns rest for a long while in a place that allows water to filter them, slowly removing the nasty-tasting tannins. Isn't that clever!?