The sun hasn’t broken free for days and, despite the mild weather, that can really dampen one’s mood. What is one to do? Take to the woods, I say! And this morning I did just that.
The moment I enter the tree line, I feel a sense of immediate relief. There is so much around to capture my attention and divert my mind from the gloom of the cloudy day. The complex shapes and movements in the woods, the sound of the wind moving through leafless branches above me, the crunch of the thick crust that formed atop the deep snow below my boots as I traverse the forest floor. A blue jay calls, a chickadee flutters to my right, I spot a gaping entrance to something’s home in a large branch. I can feel the tightness drain from my shoulders. Ahhhh.
Just then, my mobile rings and I am jerked back to reality. Darn!
Since I have it out, I take a picture of a cool (no pun intended), but probably not uncommon find. A squirrel has tunneled under the snow, no doubt a secret passageway to avoid the meddling foxes that frequent our forest. I’ve seen them disappear and reappear some distance apart, and now I know how.
Squirrels are some of the busiest movers and shakers in our woods and, like them or not, they are credited with the frequent cultivation of trees. Although the jury is still out on whether squirrels “forget” where they’ve buried their nuts, or simply create a worse-case-scenario’s number of caches, they are considered an essential asset in the renewal of a variety of tree species. They even use tactical deception – they pretend to bury seeds when they know they are being watched!
Returning home and feeling rejuvenated, I think, "Yes, the woods are full of veritable James Bonds." And, I can’t wait to visit again.