I frequently see squirrels at Wapley, and I find their antics quite amusing. Some time ago I saw a young squirrel trying to learn to leap gracefully from tree to tree. It missed its target branch and fell through the tree clutching at branch after branch, and missing each time. Finally it caught hold of a branch about two feet from the ground, and hung there panting and looking very foolish. I refer to it as the “Idiot Squirrel”.
I’m often accompanied by a squirrel when I’m walking the paths in the wood – it runs through the branches parallel to the path, about twenty feet in, watching me and keeping pace with my progress. If it’s the same one it’s learnt to do the Tarzan bit properly now.
While walking in Wapley Wood this week I heard the familiar scampering of a squirrel crossing the path a few feet above my head. Suddenly the fruit shown fell out of the branches and landed inches in front of me. There were tooth marks on the underside of the fruit where it had been bitten off.
Tim Fairhead says that from the toothed shape of the rounded leaf and the shape of the nut cluster it looks like the squirrel was trying to have some immature hazel nuts for lunch – they don’t look to be completely ripe with a hard shell as they should be later on in the year.
So – walk the woods at your own risk, or you may get “nutted”!