On the day after Christmas, M-L writes a bright, cheery message from the squirrel sanctuary:
The two nut trays overflowed for a special feast yesterday, but Missy, she who rules the world, didn't feel I was quick enough. She was tearing across the railing and aiming to land on my back as I filled the five sunflower seed trays on the deck, the three sunflower bird feeders (remember, I got the ones that people at the store complained were really easy for squirrels to raid), the niger seed feeder and the two suet trays. Bad human for not filling the nut trays first. I made amends by handing her one large cashew to settle her and another one just because. I think she's really got the knack of taking things from my fingers now as she is more gentle and not as rushed when she does it. Perhaps she thinks she's finally got me trained.
I'm not sure if Missy is still living in the nesting box now that the grey squirrel has moved in with Jackie. Perhaps she is in the neighbouring box, or perhaps she is off with Honey. She can't be too far away as she is in the yard when I fill the dishes, or at least comes running from a few yards away when she hears my voice. Maybe they have a place with Oscar.
I know the squirrels won't reach sexual maturity until eleven months of age--about May 2011, gestation is 44 days, and they stay inside with their mom until 10 weeks or there about. If Jackie doesn't slow down, she will be a teenage mom! Then again, squirrels will overwinter with anyone for body warmth-- remember camping trips with inadequate sleeping bags.