(TMU) — Squirrels would be happy living anywhere where nut trees are plentiful like in natural forests. And clever as they are, it is doubtful they dreamed of one day moving into the city or living in suburbia, yet here they are, through no fault of their own, where they are adored by many but also seen as a nuisance and likened to pests such as rats and pigeons.
Squirrels are quite harmless and have been living close to humans for a long time. They’re very curious, entertaining to watch, and don’t muck about in garbage bins, although they do fancy nesting in attics and stealing birdseed from their feathered neighbors.
Rick Kalinkwski is a fine example of a human that enjoys and appreciates the squirrels that see his yard. To show his appreciation, Rick decided to create a special spot for his wild friends to enjoy their meals. Using some left over wood he created a tiny picnic table for them and attached it to the fence in the back yard.
Once he finished the project and had it secured to the fence, Rick laid the table with a feast of nuts for his furry friends. Pretty soon after the first guest arrived, sat on the bench, and started sampling the feast.
Although the squirrels often visit Rick’s table twice a day and never leave a tip for the bringer of treats, it warms Rick’s heart seeing the table enjoyed. It has become part of their daily routine.
Rick positioned the squirrel table outside a window which gives him a perfect view from where he joins them for breakfast enjoying his morning coffee.
Rick’s table was his way of giving back and a way of thanking the squirrels for the endless joy he gets from watching them play in his yard. Of course, seeing his furry friends enjoy his effort and happy to have full tummies throughout the year is more than enough thanks for Rick, who said simply:
“I appreciate them and they appreciate me.’’
Someone else who appreciates squirrels is wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, who in 2001 created National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina.
Christy’s aim for creating this day was simply to encourage people to be kind towards their bushy tailed neighbors with simple gestures like putting out food and water and perhaps even allowing them to play with the bird-feeder.
Not necessarily by choice or intention, squirrels are beneficial to the environment since they plant the seeds of future trees wherever they live. When living in urban areas, squirrels assist parks to remain beautiful and lush. About 74% of the nuts they bury for lean times are never found and eventually grow into new trees for all to enjoy.
National Squirrel Day has been officially held on January 21 since 2011. Christy says:
‘’Make of it what you want, so long as it’s in the name of squirrel positivity!’’