Today’s small joy: a little (mischievous) friend to greet me as I came outside for my early morning write
This beauty is little Greysie May. She is a frequent visitor to my back yard. Greysie is a little more timid in her leaps and scampers than the other squirrels. I suspect because she is smaller. And she’s not always the most on the ball, really. But she is a fantastic model, as you can see.
I can tell Greysie May apart from the other grey squirrels thanks to the adorable white stripes of fur behind her ears. What looks like little white tufts are actually small stripes. And she is more white-grey than Baby Grey (her sibling) or Gradie, my other grey squirrel neighbour, who both have more auburn colouring in his fur.
Little Graysie is one of Mimi’s babies.
I first discovered that her sibling, Baby Grey, was one of Mimi’s babies because Mimi would allow Baby Grey to climb on and around her. Then I saw that Baby Brin was one of Mimi’s as well. And finally, the last to come to my home – and the last I realized was one of the family – is this beautiful little Greysie.
It’s somewhere around 30 degrees in Toronto this afternoon. My little friend Gradie is lying spread-eagle in the shade of a chair on my porch beside me as I work inside.
Yesterday he lay on his stomach in the shade on the driveway, all four legs straight out in each direction. And earlier today I saw another of my squirrel neighbours, Mimi, in the same position in my back yard.
Apparently, this is called “planking” or “heat dumping,” and, as you’d guess, it helps them cool down. The idea is to get as much of the surface of their tiny body against a cool surface, and this dissipates body heat.
DYK squirrels sweat through their feet?? I sure didn’t. They also pant like dogs and other animals. And they sometimes lick their fur so they can get a little cooler when it evaporates.
Squirrels can get heat stroke, like people, and it seems to happen primarily when the don’t have access to water. I have a small water dish out for my furry little neighbours.