Spring hasn’t exactly sprung here in southern Maine, but it is certainly thawing. Old routes are re-emerging for the birds that have migrated back to us, the sidewalks which had been filled with 5 feet of cementized snow are finally getting plowed and bulldozed out, and even the squirrels are eagerly investigating last year’s paths around the trees and roofs. With all the snow and ice we’ve had this winter, the squirrels haven’t been very active around our house, the way they usually are the rest of the year.Grey Squirrel eating a nut

However, I just watched the cutest-ever squirrel on a tree right next to our deck wash his little face, scratch with his hind leg, scoot along a tree branch (! I’ve never seen a squirrel do the doggy rump rub before!), and then explore his old routes onto our roof. Some of the limbs of a nearby tree were cut off last year, leaving little stumps, just big enough for him to sit on and ponder the predicament. First, he tried one stump. Nope, no way to jump that long distance. Next, he went down a level to what used to be a good back-up jumping branch. Nope again, another stump. He sat there briefly, looking at his goal and knowing it couldn’t be reached from that angle. Understandably disappointed, since I have recently put up a little bird feeder on the window, and I’m sure he would love the nuts and seeds that are in it.

Two flicks of his tail later, he was off in another direction, looking for a better opportunity. What a great lifecoach he is! “Don’t get stumped by a roadblock in your life, keep looking and move on.” Great wisdom.

Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak says the squirrel totem’s keynote is “Activity and Preparedness.” Animal Speak also mentions that squirrels can indicate that it is best to learn by “doing rather than by studying” (pages 316 – 318, Animal Speak).