Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Is this pair snuggling up to resist our sub-freezing temperatures?
Celebrating Valentine’s Day?
Or doing their part to ensure the continuance of their species?

I think I know the answer. Clearly, I’m going to need to provide more peanuts in the coming weeks, since these squirrels who live in my trees have decided to add to their family.


Comments always are welcome.

68 thoughts on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

    1. It was a case of ‘he chased her until she let him catch her.’ I wouldn’t have noticed them, except they were raising such a ruckus in the trees I started watching, and figured out what was going on in time to get the camera.

    1. What makes it doubly amusing is that I know the female. She’s one that will take pecans from my hand now. I’m hoping she brings the babies by when they leave the nest.

  1. This is ‘your’ squirrel! I’ve seen the same in my garden and they sure are needing their peanuts these days. As well, a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk is a’huntin’! He was chasing a squirrel around a tree yesterday and I’ve seen him/her twice this morning in my back garden. As far as I can tell, no breakfast has happened, but I’m sure the hawk is hungry. An Eastern Screech is in the nest box, 3rd day in a row–she’s not an idiot!

    1. A few of my ground-feeding birds have found the little nook on the patio that’s out of the wind. I’ve scattered seed there, and they’re making short work of it. I finally put up another platform feeder to help separate the mockingbirds from the robin. They both like the dried mealworms, and that robin isn’t about to let anyone else into the stash. I didn’t realize how territorial they are, but he’s quite aggressive.

      The toughest ones around may be the Girl Scouts. A local troop spent Friday night and yesterday selling cookies outside our local Randalls. When I asked which of the cookies would keep me warmest, one of the girls said, with a perfectly straight face, “The Caramel Delights.”

  2. You will definitely need more peanuts, and I’m betting you’ll need more pecans after those babies grow. A good mother will escort her kids to the source of all goodness and it looks like you’ve earned that reputation. And a very nice capture of a perfect image for the day!

    I’ll be putting extra cat food out for the squirrels and birds who have come to expect it on our deck, even though the cats who needed the food are now inside or no longer with us. The wildlife will need it during the cold days and nights to come.

    1. My first experience with a mama bringing babies for me to see involved a raccoon. I lived on the second floor; she carried each one up a tree growing close to my balcony, and then scratched at the door until I came and looked. Then, she’d carry that one down in her mouth and bring another.Three trips, up and down. Amazing.

      It’s beginning to look as though we’ll escape with icy roads and severe cold. It’s certainly worse in the hill country. Llano County around Willow City and Enchanted Rock is covered in inch-thick ice. There are going to be some very hungry critters there. And look at this, from San Angelo. I hope things aren’t so bad for you.

    1. This is why I always want my desk next to a window. There’s a lot of action in those trees! It’s raining now, but still slightly above freezing. I wish we’d go ahead and drop. Icy roads would eliminate the temptation to go fetch the chocolate I forswore this afternoon.

  3. Looks like they’re enjoying Valentine’s Day – and baby squirrels will be on the way soon! Time to get in a good store of nuts!

    1. I didn’t know, so I looked it up; the gestation period is 44 days. By that time, the nasty weather (or at least the cold) will be gone, and those babies will have an easier time of it. As a matter of fact, so will the mama!

  4. Ha! I hope they do bring the babies to visit. I think even Valentine’s Day and perpetuation of the species wouldn’t lure the Milwaukee squirrels to romance al fresco, it’s subzero, more like romance al gelato, real break-the-dogs-off-the-fire-hydrants weather.

    1. I laughed at your dogs-and-fire-hydrants comment. There have been a number of challenges going around in our sub-freezing temperatures that are akin to that, ranging from the ‘throw boiling water into the air’ challenge to — well, you can imagine. It’s been a great diversion as well as a great pain; we’re not built for such weather down here. As long as the power stays on, I’ll be happy. The squirrels are going to have to wait for the sun to come back.

  5. I love to watch the young squirrels every spring. not so happy about all the adults they turn into. I did get some squirrel food this time around since the next week is going to be so bitter.

    1. Your squirrels are going to be extremely pleased with you. It’s true they can be pests of the first order, but they are cute, and from what I’ve seen of conditions over there tonight, they’re going to need a little help.

    1. At least they will be once they have a little fur and open their eyes. I raised one that had fallen from its nest (the siblings all died), and believe me — it took a while for ‘cute’ to develop. Once it did, he just kept getting cuter.

            1. He lived half in a big aviary on the patio, and half in the house. He went sailing, too. I did write about him, here. When spring comes, I may need to repost the tale.

    1. The way squirrel numbers have been increasing around here, I assumed it wasn’t just a dependable food source that was drawing them in. If the Fox squirrels keep breeding, the Eastern Grays may be outnumbered, and decide to move elsewhere. I hope they both stay; they’re both cute.

    1. You have hummers now? You’re going to have to swap out feeders for them in this freezing weather. I’m surprised they’re still around, but on the other hand, I’ve been surprised by the number of robins here, too. At this point, I’m sure the robins are smart enough to stay put until this nastiness is over.

    1. Thanks, Pit. We’ll all cozy down here, but we haven’t yet had the kind of weather you have. It’s close, but we’re just at the freezing mark, and hoping it’s just the roads that get iced up.

  6. As you might imagine, I am blushing!! Not for these guys the privacy of the boudoir. And he didn’t even have to bring chocolates!

    1. No, they felt no need to get a room. On the other hand, they probably didn’t expect to have an inquiring photographer lurking about, either. It certainly was a surprising glimpse into the secret life of squirrels!

    1. As cute as they are, they can do real damage. Screens, attics, walls — it’s amazing what they can chew their way into if they’re determined. I think most of them around here are living in the palm trees. That surprised me, but I suppose it makes sense. There’s plenty of cover, and they’re certainly well-hidden among the fronds.

    1. I think I know where the nest is, so I can keep watch for the little ones. They’ll be well concealed from predators, so if the nest survives our spring storms, all will be well.

  7. You’re kidding. You actually caught them? I’m amazed your camera was at hand — mine would’ve been out of sight, and I’d have missed such a good capture. Well done, Linda! Happy Valentine’s Day. Perhaps Spring is in the air after all?!!

    1. I almost always have the camera close at hand, Debbie. I make sure it has a charged battery and a card in it, and I keep the telephoto lens on it here at home — for just this sort of occasion. This tree’s about 50′ from the window by my desk, so it’s easy to be out the front door quickly. Birds are harder, because they’re flightier. But the squirrels mostly don’t mind having their photo taken — especially if they’re more interested in what they’re doing!

    1. And pecans, for Sundays, holidays, and special friends! I must say, as much as I miss the view of the sky from my former apartment, the activity here is just as interesting.

  8. It’s 6 F (-14.4 C) here on a Valentine’s day afternoon, with about 3 inches of snow on the ground. Supposed to get down to 4 F. It is, as my mother assures me, colder than a wedge. And besides, squirrels need love, too.

    1. I just noticed that the entire state of Texas is under a winter weather warning, which means the color-coded maps are solidly pink. As one observer said, “These gender reveal parties are getting out of hand.” I’d wondered how you were doing up there, but for once the rest of the state is on a par with your temperatures — or will be, in another 24 hours. Our current projected low for tomorrow night is 14F. My dad had his own expression to describe that kind of cold — although that was Iowa, and he usually reserved it for below zero temperatures.

    1. Isn’t this a fun photo? This morning, their limb is ice covered, and it’s snowing. We only have an inch of sleet and snow on the ground, give or take, but it certainly is a different morning.

    1. I’ll gladly supply it. I’m glad I got these accustomed to finding food here before this awful winter weather set it. The can leave the nest, have a little nosh, and run right back home. No need to scour the countryside looking for a bit of nourishment!

  9. This is something I expected always happens :-) but I’ve never witnessed. Nice catch. It’s also a funny combination with the title being the same as the song which hinted at just such activity made a bit controversial lately but part of human nature…just like squirrels.

    1. Oh, phooey. There’s nothing at all that should be controversial about that old song. I have no patience with people who would ban the past because of their present beliefs. Now there are so-called educators who want to ban Shakespeare and Chaucer because they they’ve decided they were ‘white supremacists.’ Phooey and pffffft.

      Most of the time, I only see the chase. This pair lingered on their limb long enough for me to get outside and avoid shooting through the window. They’re certainly more civilized about their mating habits than the mallards!

      1. Same here. I’ve seen many a chase but never the acceptance and fruition. I agree about the needless banning but think discussing those works can be good teaching opportunities toward better behavior. The song being controversial however is silly.

    1. These squirrels certainly do look like snuggle-bunnies, don’t they? It’s such an endearing photo, especially for someone like me who has a good bit of affection for squirrels under any circumstances.

    1. I suspect they’re happy not to have babies in the nest, given our weather. By the time the little ones come along, it will be nice and warm — and thunderstorm season! Life is hard, out there on the limbs.

      1. Yes Linda, the old adage about not climbing out too far on a limb.
        Squirrels are well-equipped for the journey, however. I love watching them leaping from limb to limb and tree to tree.
        Our squirrels build nice and cozy nests to get out of the worst of the weather. –Curt

        1. They learn to run reciprocal courses, too. The first time my pet escaped as a youngster, he made for the garage roof, but in his panic, he’d paid no attention to how he got there. It was nearly dark, and he was frozen with indecision. We had to get out the ladder and climb up to get him.

          1. Like a kitty on its first excursion out to the big, bad world. We had a pet grey squirrel named Pugemite. Why, I don’t have a clue. He had fallen out of a tree as a baby and apparently abandoned. Maybe someone got mom. Anyway, we raised him and, when he was old enough, set him free. He continued to live in our walnut trees, built a nest, found a lady-love and raised a family. As long as he lived, he would come down and visit on occasion when we were outside. –Curt

            1. They know who their benefactors are, and I honestly believe develop some attachment (even affection) for humans who’ve become part of their world. Your deer certainly are an example of that.

  10. Am keeping up – I think/hope- with all that’s happening up there, and down here people are tense w/the ongoing election run-offs and also prison riots and concerns for where Ecuador is heading…

    And then we have options of not listening or reading any of that and staying close to nature instead!

    This photo surely made everyone laugh – such a great shot in so many ways – and oh so clear. Great work!

    1. Lisa, we can’t keep up with what’s happening here, and a good number of us have sworn off trying. Information is one thing, but dueling opinions can become tedious, particularly when they’re little more than prejudices and emotions. I have prejudices of various sorts, and heaven knows I’m in favor of emotion, but time, place, and so on.

      Apart from this very entertaining pair of squirrels, the biggest news here is that I’ve had both Covid vaccinations. I had no reaction to the first, and a substantial reaction to the second, but after 48 hours I was feeling fine. Cases are declining in my area, no doubt due in part to the fact that we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the state.

      In your part of the US, Jackson still is having a lot of problems because of our recent storm: lack of water, lack of power, and so on. From what I gather, they’re in the same position as Gulfport and Bay St. Louis when Katrina hit NOLA. The media focus on Texas has left Mississippi without the advocates they need. Word’s getting out, though. Some musicians, sports figures, etc. have come together to move supplies to the area; with any luck at all, someone will refocus the government’s attention, and get them to send some relief, too.

      Now — back to the squirrels. And the mallards, who are chasing one another around, and the mockingbirds who are pairing up. Recovery’s happening!

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