Saturday, March 08, 2014

Jewel # 168 (March 8, 2014)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Busy Gray Squirrel

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, 
and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
(Revelation 4:11)

The gray squirrel of Canada and the United States is definitely a favourite with many people.  No doubt this is because of its cute little barks and chattering, as well as its ability to play “hide and seek” by scampering up, down and around tree trunks when people approach it.  This animal is playful, and several will often play a game of tag.

Its top fur and bushy tail are mostly gray with white on the underneath parts.  Its tail grows extra long fur as cold weather approaches, making a warm blanket to cover its back and head or to curl around its body when inside its nest.  Its tail also acts as a rudder, which, together with its strong hind legs, enables it to jump from tree to tree.  If the the squirrel accidentally falls, its tail immediately spreads out like a parachute.  No wonder a squirrel spends so much time grooming it!  Gray squirrels signal to each other with their tails.

These small but tough creatures often show up in parks, making friends with those who feed them, but they can also be annoying.  They will climb into a bird feeder and eat only the sunflower seeds, spilling the rest on the ground.  They sometimes get into flower beds and eat buds and seeds or bury peanuts and acorns in potted plants, spilling dirt all over.  But aside from these annoying activities, many consider them intelligent and comical with their acrobatics and are willing to put up with the problems.

Squirrels are well equipped to shell nuts of any kind or to get inside pine cones with their long, sharp claws and curved teeth.  Through summer and fall, they bury nuts for winter food, as well as tuck dried mushrooms in branches of trees.  They sometimes forget where the nuts are buried, but with their keen sense of smell, even through a foot of snow, they usually find them or those of another squirrel.  The ones they don’t find often take root, and a new little tree shows up the next spring.

The nests of these squirrels are made of twigs and leaves, complete with a rainproof roof and are usually high in trees or may be in a convenient hole in the side of a tree trunk.

As many as six little ones are born in the springtime and for several weeks rely on their mother’s milk for growth.  But before long they are well covered with fur, have been taught the important things of a squirrel’s  life and are on their own.

These active little animals seem to fit in extremely well with the pleasure the Lord had in creating them, as our opening Bible verse says, and He watches over them with tender care.  And He assures us in 1 Peter 5:7 that “He cares for you” too. 

Love you all,
Grandpa

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