Sorry for the late SW post, all. This is what happens when I get a real job. Anyhow, I’ve been reading a lot of fun squirrel stuff over the past few weeks. First, Will went on a mini-road trip to visit a friend and came back with a great gift from a used-book store: a pristine copy of the November 1995 issue of National Geographic, which features the most excellent article, “In Praise of Squirrels.” In it, essayist Diane Ackerman waxes poetic about the little gray guys who come running to munch on the nuts she puts out for them in her back yard:

Few things in nature as as marvelous as a squirrel’s tail. Or as transformable. The tail is an all-purpose appendage: a balance pole, a scarf on cold days, a semaphore flag. . . . It’s amazing how a squirrel can clasp itself on the back with its tail, embrace and comfort itself. . . . Tails are as cozy as sweaters–squirrels can wrap up in them when cold or lay them aside when warm or wrap them around small offspring.

Then while we were on Nantucket, we discovered a copy of the second edition of Bill Adler, Jr.’s, Outwitting Squirrels, which was odd, considering that there are no squirrels on Nantucket. Adler professes to be a squirrel-hater, but the book betrays a grudging respect for the crafty little critters:

When you read a list describing the prowess of squirrels you might think that they are the supermen of lower animals. . . . Squirrels can jump up to six feet. They can leap between trees that are eight feet apart. They can . . . scale just about every surface except glass. . . . Squirrels can swim. Yes, swim. Up to a mile. . . . A squirrel’s vision is also remarkably powerful, and its eyes, which are situated on opposite sides of its head, give the squirrel a wide range of vision.

And so on. Needless to say, Mr. Adler has spent a huge amount of time and money fighting a mostly losing battle against hungry squirrels.

Finally, I’d like to share links to two fun online squirrel resources I recently stumbled across: Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels, a blog devoted to our favorite little rodent, and Squirrelly Links, a clearinghouse of other squirrel-related Web sites. Click through and enjoy!