We have a little red tree squirrel living in our towering pine trees.
|Our little red tree squirrel.|
In the late summer and early fall, this little squirrel begins harvesting the pine cones found on the pine trees.
|Green pine cones on our pine trees.|
Each day during our outdoor time we find many pine cones underneath the trees. By the end of the day, the cones are usually gone.
Red squirrels are very territorial and our squirrel will often make clicking noises at us. This means that our little red squirrel is not happy with us being in his space.
So why is the red squirrel collecting so many cones? It is because the red squirrel loves to eat the seeds found within the cones.
After a little careful observation, we discovered where the cones are being stored. At the edge of our property, under the towering pines, we found a huge pile of cones! These pine cones will provide the red squirrel with nutrients and energy for the long winter ahead.
|A pile of pine cones.|
We also found a pile of consumed cones and scales. This is called a midden.
|A pile of consumed cones called a midden.|
Finding the cache of cones and the midden was a little like solving a mystery. We had so much fun! It is these hands-on experiences in the natural world that instill in all of us a profound respect for living things.
"How often is the soul of man, especially the child, deprived because one does not put him in contact with nature?"
~ Maria Montessori