Monday, November 7, 2011

A 5-Point Squirrel Business Plan

I watched a squirrel outside the bedroom window yesterday morning.  He was in the maple tree, at eye level to me on the second floor, stuffing himself with the seeds still hanging in the tree.  He was doing the usual squirrel acrobatics: running out to the farthest point on the skinniest branch, bouncing in the wind while he ate, then hanging upside down to get to those few last seeds.  As I watched him, I thought, "you know, I could stand to take some pointers from him to get my business moving," which led to this 5 Point Squirrel Business Plan:

  1. Be fearless!  Ever observe a squirrel?  They run out to the farthest end of the thinnest branch on the tree.  They walk the power lines.  They hang upside down to get to the tastiest morsel on the tree or in the bird feeder.  They see what they want and go after it, stretching themselves to the farthest reaches of their ability.  And most often, they get it.
  2. Plan for the future, but be flexible!  This time of year, squirrels are busy storing away nuts and acorns for the winter.  They're planning for the future.  But, the squirrel may not find all of that stash once winter comes either because another animal has eaten it or because he just can't remember where he packed it all away.   Either way, the squirrel needs to be flexible and find more food elsewhere if the plan falls through.
  3. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!  Ever watched a squirrel at a bird feeder?  Many of them are built with squirrel-proofing mechanisms, but the squirrels don't know that.  They known there's food in there so they'll keep trying to get to those tasty seeds, hanging upside down, jumping from a nearby tree, spinning dizzily until they're thrown off...There's an entire industry built around keeping squirrels out of bird feeders in entertaining ways.  But they keep trying to best the humans, learning as they go, and often succeeding.
  4. Take the high road!  How often have you seen a squirrel take the high route over a busy roadway, using the crossing power line as a sidewalk?  Keeps them from getting squished, doesn't it? 
  5. Rest often!  Squirrels seem like they're always busy, running from here to there, eating this, hiding that.  But I had a house once where the first floor windows were level with the upper branches of a grove of oak trees and had a wonderful opportunity to observe the squirrels there.  Two squirrels might be chasing each other up and down the tree, but they'd synchronously stop every few minutes to rest.  I'd often see a squirrel snoozing on a branch in the afternoon.  They expended a lot of energy, but they knew when to rest.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds squirrely to me! Be careful if you use this plan as you might fall out of the tree. And please tell me you won't attempt the "high wire act".
    We haven't got many acorns and hickory nuts for the squirrels this year. Hope that means that it will be a mild winter.