From March through June gray squirrels molt into a brown or tawny pelage that blends well with their summertime surroundings. Then in September and October they molt again, this time into paler, grayer winter coats so they’re ready when the cold winds blow. My backyard squirrels are making this change but their faces and ears are still brown.
Lately I’ve seen the squirrels on frequent caching expeditions up and down the street because my neighbor has a prolific black walnut tree. I’m sure the squirrels are burying walnuts but I only see evidence that they’re eating them. They leave behind little piles of broken shells and a permanent black stain on the cement.
I wish they wouldn’t pick my front steps for their walnut feasts but I can understand their urgency.
Winter’s coming. It’s enough to turn a squirrel’s hair gray.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons. Click the photo to see the original.)