The (Not So) Abominable Snow Squirrel

Squirrels get a bad rap.

Some people even think they’re abominable. Sure, the little critters tuck into garden tomatoes. They steal seeds from bird feeders. But even the most hardened, anti-squirrel gardeners and birdwatchers must admit: They’re cute. Adorable, even.

Especially in the snow.

The other day, I noticed a squirrel sitting on top of our broken beech tree, munching on crystalline snow. He was probably thirsty. Reportedly, squirrels can smell acorns and other nuts through a foot of snow, and our west Michigan wood is mostly oak. So, he wasn’t scarfing down the snow to fill his belly.

The squirrel stayed at the snow buffet for nearly thirty minutes, sometimes sitting still as though enjoying the view. In case you’re wondering, squirrels keep warm in their fluffy fur, and by shivering. I didn’t see any sign of a shiver, but then, a squirrel-sized shiver must be a subtle little shake.

Here’s a clip of the squirrel shoveling snow into his mouth.

So, what do you think? Is this squirrel abominable? Or adorable?

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