Go Nuts on Squirrel Appreciation Day or Any Other Day for That Matter

Hey, I know I am late passing on my appreciation to the little tree rats, but did you guys know we had Squirrel Appreciation Day last week. I knew on Saturday, January 21st but as usual, there was a post up I did not want to pass on. So, with great honor, I pledge to appreciate squirrels and let them have their way in my garden.

After all, I have every city squirrel paying a visit during the course of the day. It used to be only Gaylord and Gilbert, but that really did not last long. At one time, the garden may host more than twenty squirrels.

What I do find amazing about squirrels is how they have adapted to our way of life. As I mentioned, National Squirrel Appreciation Day is on January 21st each year, but so is National Hug Day. Make sure you keep your appreciation at a distance from the tree rats. They can give a nasty bite.

The squirrels scampering about are chewing, gnawing little rodents, but in prettier attire. They are cute, animated, athletic, and a hoot to watch. I actually do like the fur balls, but do take issue with them around bulb planting time. The rest of the year they really are OK.

Did you know there are over 300 species of squirrel and they inhabit almost every major ecosystem? There is a teeny one in Africa barely over 2 inches long and one in India over three feet long. They are fast little buggers too, with them being clocked at over 20 mph. And boy can they leap. Flying squirrels ‘leap’ or glide actually, around half a football field in length.

Did you know squirrels will eat other animals when their traditional food sources are scarce? Gray Squirrels will eat frogs, rodents and insects.

Those Gray Squirrels that made their way from America to the UK are being hunted there. They are not very welcome because they are displacing the native red squirrels. But here, we have a day to appreciate squirrels, (which I think is rather bizarre), so I guess we are obligated to do so.

Keep the Rats to Yourselves

Want to hear something even stranger than appreciating squirrels? In the District of Columbia, pest control companies are required to round up rats rather than kill them, according to Rush Limbaugh, radio host. Not only do they have to live capture them, they are supposed to round up all the rat family members too and relocate them as families. In addition, he said on his program last week, the exterminators are taking them across the Potomac into Virginia to set them free. Well, I am not sure of the truth to this so I went looking for more info.

I found an article saying that Virginia and Maryland are telling DC to keep the rats to themselves. The law is Washington’s Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.  Maryland is countering by introducing the Rat Trafficking Act to block the relocation of any rats to their state.

“This insane law obviously places Maryland and Virginia at risk for an invasion of out-of-state rodents,” the release said. “We must protect our borders,”  as reported by The Examiner. Seriously folks, our borders, is this not a little dramatic? I agree, no new rats, but this issue is insane. Rat image by source. Not quite as cute as my pictured rodents, huh?

Mary Cheh, the Washington councilwoman who sponsored the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010, says rats are exempt from this law, but from all the nasty emails that is reported she has been receiving, it seems no one is believing her.  Now does this not take the cake? We are getting pretty strange in this country with crazy laws and days honoring the dumbest of things. And that includes National Hug Day too!

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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27 Responses to Go Nuts on Squirrel Appreciation Day or Any Other Day for That Matter

  1. elaine says:

    There is a squirrel who follows me, leaping from tree to tree, as I am walking down a particular lane near where I live – I am sure he is playing or spying on me.

  2. Rob says:

    I love to photograph squirrels – I find them very photogenic. I have a couple of posts with decent shots of squirrels in them – feel free to check them out: http://creativesplurges.wordpress.com/tag/squirrels/

  3. Hmm, sounds to me as if more care is being taken of rat families in some States than is of poor human families… I do hate this trend for having a day for absolutely anything and everything, it devalues the few that could be important, like the mass proliferation of bows of different colours to support different charities. I’m sure they are all, individually, good causes, but I can’t help thinking that someone could clothe themselves entirely out of charity ribbons without being convicted of indecent exposure. Maybe Lady Gagga should take note…

    OK, rant over, despite the fact that “you” grey squirrels are indeed forcing our lovely red squirrels out, your squirrel photos are utterly delightful.

  4. Victor Ho says:

    Squirrels then rats? Our bird feeder was established for the birds with collapsible perches and all. It’s fascinating to watch the antics of the squirrels as they scamper and hang upside down to eat at the feeder. For a while my wife covered the pole with vegetable oil so the squirrels couldn’t climb up. Currently there is a plastic shield which blocks the pole. The squirrels eat the seeds that fall to the ground. Everyone gets some. Otherwise the squirrels eat the entire feeder clean within a day. They (squirrels) are very smart and adaptable. Your squirrels are so much more photogenic than our plain grey ones.

  5. Indie says:

    A three foot squirrel – now that would be a sight to see; I’ll bet people in India don’t feed the birds nearly as much as we do! And I had no idea that they would eat meat. I’ve only seen four squirrels in my garden at any given time. Who knows how many spring will bring, though..

  6. John says:

    I didn’t realize that the 21st was indeed Squirrel Appreciation Day, shame on me. Maybe I’ll go out today and let them know that they’re appreciated. As always, excellent photos.

  7. They are cute but I will not hug them Donna, not is a tree, not in the yard…I will not hug them but be on guard….especially with bulbs..although with all the predators they are not plentiful in my garden…in the old garden they were a menace and there would be no appreciation for them…I had an albino rat in my psych class…we taught them different things but never harmed them. I even kept mine as a pet..she was so cute…now the rodents I would love the squirrels to feed on are the voles…crazy stuff going on indeed.

  8. Alas, Rush Limbaugh didn’t check his facts. Mice and rats can indeed be killed under the pest control law in Washington, DC. However, other forms of wildlife have to be humanely trapped and moved. You can get the whole story here:

    I feel sorry for the councilwoman who sponsored the law. It sounds like her law is a reasonable way to approach the problem, but that’s not as interesting as the story about rounding up rats.

    I’m afraid Rush Limbaugh is one of those people who don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story. That makes me discouraged, especially because he has so much influence. Politicians often do nonsensical things and should be criticized for those actions. We don’t need to make stuff up! Let’s get the facts straight and focus political discussions on real problems.

    • I knew there was more to this story and I knew DC was taking unnecessary heat on this. The Examiner was the first place I saw the councilwoman taking the hoopla surrounding this issue to task. To have two other states making laws and statements about this so quickly is how the thing got so out of context. That really is the point here. You are right about Rush, he takes a bit of the truth and does not look into the greater depths of the issues, all for the sake of a story. I am an animal lover and honestly do feel for the rats trying to just make a living. But, it is how the exterminators are reacting that is worth looking into.Thanks for the link.

  9. I didn’t know about squirrel appreciation day 🙂 We love watching the squirrels in the garden, yes, I know they can be pests but they sure can be entertaining.

  10. Lynn Rogers says:

    The only things less appreciated around our garden are the deer and the armadillos! LOL The tree rats tear up everything, even ate part of our garage. Sorry, can’t share the love.

  11. Cynthia says:

    Squirrels are cute, but . . . after we looked out and saw four at a time cleaning out bird feeders we began to look at them differently . . . as food. Taste like chicken.

  12. HolleyGarden says:

    Your squirrels are cute. Love the dark one, and the one standing in the snow! I hope the exterminators get the rat situation straightened out soon.

  13. I really like squirrels, but really National Squirrel Appreciation Day. I really don’t like a certain commentator you mentioned—let’s move the rats and mice to his house, kind of like the toilets in The Help—great movie.

  14. How funny that you named the squirrels! I guess I’m neutral about the furry-tailed creatures. Since they’re native here, they have a place. And they can be kind of cute. But they cause a lot of garden damage, too. Did not know there was a National Squirrel Appreciation Day. And I have definite issues with rats.

  15. helensadornmentsblog says:

    While I think the squirrels are adorable, the picture of the rat made me squirm. I think it’s all about the tail. Squirrels have those big bushy cute tails and rats just have naked creepy tails.

  16. Karen says:

    Tree Rats, ha! You had me laughing with that one, Donna! (I wish I could sit for longer, I HAVE to learn to type standing up.) Squirrel Appreciation Day? Oh, goodness, I missed it too. We had a guy who used to trap squirrels in town and drive them out here and let them go. He was so proud of the fact that he had caught over 50 of them one year and had ‘set them all free’. We were a little less thrilled, in fact, it was annoying. They hung around in our garden and were much bolder than our native squirrels who would skitter off at our approach. The really odd part was how many I saw being carried off by hawks and fox. Of course, I couldn’t be sure that all the squirrels being preyed upon were indeed urban transplants, since I didn’t band them or anything, but it stood to reason since they were so much less cautious than our native tree rats. So much for ‘setting them free’, eh?

    As always, a beautifully photographed post with thought-provoking content, Donna!

  17. b-a-g says:

    Maybe administering rats with birth control pills is the answer.
    Your photos are so beautiful – those squirrels look quite huggable, even if they are just rats in fur coats.

  18. Gosh the photography is outstanding. I felt like I was in the tree with them. I’ve never been so up close. So funny about rounding up the whole family and relocating. Stories can be spread like wildfire can’t they—and I don’t think the tree rats care too much either way. Trees are trees right.

  19. Ida says:

    Oh “Rats” I missed National Squirrel Appreciation Day! – Seriously I adore the little rodents and faithfully go out every morning to leave Peanuts for them in the feeder. Your photo’s were just wonderful as was your post.

  20. jakesprinter says:

    Great Captured Excellent shot 🙂

  21. Marguerite says:

    Great photos of the squirrels, is that one guy lying on his back in the snow?! too funny. I love watching squirrels but have never had any issues with them so I’ve got no reason to dislike them yet. Maybe if they dug up my tulips I would feel differently.

  22. Alistair says:

    Naw, I wont tell Myra that you call them rats, she is still upset that the two Squirrels which visited every day have disappeared and probably been killed by the council folks. A two inch squirrel, I will have to get one for her to keep in her pocket. Today is the national bird watch day when for an hour we have to jot down the birds which visit our garden and send the results to the RSPB.

  23. I enjoy your blog very much and now especially the Squirrels 😉 and therefore I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award in my post (http://www.myrtleglen.com/blogging/2012/01/30/the-versatile-blogger/)

  24. Sheila says:

    What amazing and adorable squirrel photos! I particularly like the one of the squirrel eating snow off a branch. I think squirrels get a bad rap from gardeners. Yes, they dig a lot of holes, but I choose to think they’re aerating the soil.

  25. What great images! Is that second little fella making a snow angel?

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