January 21st marks squirrel appreciation day… an unofficial holiday started in North Carolina by wildlife rehabilitator Christy McKeown back in 2001, as a means to acknowledging the role that squirrels play in nature and the environment and encourage people to put out seeds and nuts for the cute critters.
Beast or Benefit..?
Squirrels tend to get a bit of a bad rep… Especially amongst the gardening community.. they dig up our garden either looking for +nuts and seeds, or burying their hoard… Not to mention having a particular sweet tooth for our tomatoes, berries and fruit trees… So why on earth would we celebrate such an annoyance?
We’ve done a bit of digging and here are a few reasons we’ve come up with to embrace the bushy tailed rodents;
Apparently, squirrels bury so many nuts and seeds through the winter they often forget where they’ve buried them… These eventually sprout as new trees/ plants… Score 1 for nature and tree populations!
Although squirrels primarily live off nuts, seeds and berries, they also enjoy a healthy diet of small insects such as caterpillars, slugs and snails.. Keeping your cabbage patches just that little bit more protected.
Little fact about squirrels.. They build multiple nests so that in the event of their homes being compromised, they have a safe space to uproot too. This isn’t technically a benefit to the presence of squirrels, but you’ve got to respect a creatures with such prepper mentality.
Let’s be honest.. They’re fairly comical little characters… So if it’s only to appreciate the humour they bring to mother nature, we think they deserve some recognition!