NEW AND IMPROVED

This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

WHY CAN’T THE SQUIRREL CROSS THE ROAD?


WHY CAN’T THE SQUIRREL CROSS THE ROAD?
Any bird lover who attempts to feed his feathered friends will tell you squirrels are very smart.  Squirrels will always find the feed, and they will always find a way into the feeder. 

Bird lovers hang their feeder off tree limbs; squirrels find a way to slide, leap or climb their way into that feeder.  Feeders are set on poles far from a tree.  The squirrels climb the pole with ease.  Bird lovers grease the pole.  Squirrels climb the pole with ease.  Bird lovers put barriers on the poles, squirrels laugh at the barriers.  Bird lovers put barriers that slip, slide or tip when touched by a squirrel.  The squirrels figure it out on the second or third attempt.

Eventually most bird lovers grudgingly become squirrel lovers or at least squirrel appreciators.  Their skills, their tenacity, their acrobatics become part of the bird watching experience.  Every bird watcher will tell you that squirrels are very smart. 

Then why, I ask, can’t squirrels learn to cross a road?

I almost ran over a squirrel today.  He scampered across the road right in front of me.  He waited to cross until I was in his range and then he shot across.  He could have made it too, but just as he was almost clear of my front wheels, he stopped dead waiting to be stopped dead.  I was too quick for him this time.  I have run over squirrels in the past, I was ready for him to stop and disaster was averted.

So the question is, how is it a creature can be so clever, so inventive, and so skillfully able to circumvent every obstacle imaginable to find his way to an easy meal,  yet he is unable to cross a road?

Apparently the squirrels DNA has adapted to finding food over millions of years .  His existence pretty much demands that the squirrel be good at finding food.  The car and roads, are pretty new on the evolutionary scale.  Except for the last one-hundred years or so, the ability to cross a road has not been much of a factor in the survival of the squirrel species.  From the many carcasses I see along the road, squirrels are not particularly fast learners.

Fortunately for the squirrel many of their other natural predators, particularly in rural heavily road traveled areas, have been decimated, so the car is the squirrels main enemy.  Perhaps after a few more decades of the evolutionary process squirrels will learn that the best way to avoid their new enemy is to scamper like hell, not stop squat and freeze.  The stop, squat and freeze helps them hide from their traditional predators.  This tactic puts them in position to dart in a different direction to avoid capture; it is a very bad defense against several thousand pounds of fast moving steel.

Until new instincts are developed through the survival of the fittest process, it is incumbent on squirrel lovers to be prepared to stop short.*

In the mean time, for us bird lovers, at least the buzzards are thriving.

*Val isn't the only one that can slip in a Seinfeld reference. 

17 comments:

  1. I try to NEVER squish a squirrel!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where we used to live two moves ago, the neighbor next door enjoyed feeding the birds, but not the squirrels. We would see lots of squirrels and then wouldn't. He would capture them, release them, somehow they had a way of making their way back to his house. He repeated that process a lot :)

    I think squirrels are great at playing chicken, sometimes they lose though.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have admired squirrel the way they crack the nuts and eat. They have a bussy tail which attracts all...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our squirrels are smart. They stay in the backyard.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Living in a national woods, as I do, there are all sorts crossing the road. Squirrels, chipmunks, deer, turtles (I stop and help them across), and right now, birds. Horny birds looking for a girl bird and girl birds flying like the wind. I wish they would stop it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Squirrels and armadillos seem to have the same evolutionary flaw. I break for both. Lets hope they evolve soon. I am a fan of the squirrel's athleticism and intelligence. Armadillos get my affection being cute and unique.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe they are like the Chinese peasants who helped build military runways in WWII. When planes were on their takeoff roll many peasants would dart across right in front of the aircraft. Most would make it by a few in front of the planes propellers, some would not. Their explanation was that they were luring out the evil spirits that were chasing them, hoping they would get hit by the planes, ridding them of their demons. Wonder what squirrels are trying to lure out?

    ReplyDelete
  8. they are goofy things. getting almost across, then changing their mind, or squatting, as you said. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're right, they do wait until you are within range before they dart across the road. I don't think I've ever ran over on though. I'm happy about that. There are enough other roadkill all over the place.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think they are too busy trying to figure out how to overcome the bird feeders that it distracts them on their way across the road. When will they ever learn?

    ReplyDelete
  11. We have to watch for them always in our area. My Sweetie slows when he sees one in a tree near the road, about to scamper down, and honks at it to make it go back up the tree. If they are crossing, he honks at them until they get across and jump in the tree. He says it's teaching them to be afraid of cars and stay in the trees where they belong.

    ReplyDelete
  12. No worries, squirrel mommies will make plenty more .....

    ReplyDelete
  13. It does seem like squirrels have a suicidal streak in them at times.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, thank goodness you didn't run over him, and have to fly in tiny surgical instruments from El Paso, and give him his meds six times a day, and keep his tail elevated!

    You can't out-Seinfeld Val. Yet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wait a minute...don't we "have an agreement?"

    Signed, another Seinfeld fan.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Perfect photo and caption to go with :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOVE this post! Not only because it's so true--they ALWAYS freeze up in the middle of the road like a deer caught in the headlights--but because I am a HUGE squirrel fan. I have dozens in my yard--along with a gazillion birds that I feed daily. I never get tired watching the squirrels, though. They eat right out of my hand. Yes, there is a reason why everyone calls me the "Squirrel Whisper", which I imagine is akin to the "crazy cat lady."

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, especially some of my commenters are funny as heck!

Oh, and don't be shy, Never miss a Cranky Post.

Sign up for an email of every post...over there...on your right...go on!