Garden Alphabet: Squirrel

While not a garden plant, squirrels are ubiquitous in gardens, especially here in North America. Therefore, I feel they are appropriate for inclusion in the Garden Alphabet.

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Photo: Douglas E. Welch

Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and have been introduced to Australia. The earliest known squirrels date from the Eocene and are most closely related to the mountain beaver and to the dormouse among living rodent families.

The word “squirrel”, first specified in 1327, comes from Anglo-Norman esquirel from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.[1][2] —

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2 Responses to “Garden Alphabet: Squirrel”

  1. David East says:

    Quite the menace they can be Squirrels! They’ve destroyed many a plant of mine and chased off lots of the birds.

    • I have been pretty luck with mine. Once i installed a bird feeding system they couldn’t get into that ended a lot of my headaches. They still do dig in places i would rather they didn’t, but it is hard to keep them out. In some cases, I have found that feeding them can actually help keep them out of beds and such. They have less need to dig and such with a little supplemental nutrition. Of course, you have to watch out, though. Feed them too much and you have every squirrel in the neighborhood. As it is, I usually have about 3 squirrels that frequent my garden at any one time.