Saturday, April 03, 2010

Once, Squirrels Could Cross The Country

...and do it without touching the ground. Well, at least they could make it to the Mighty Miss; I don’t recall and trees with branches long enough to help them across the Father and Mother of Rivers.

The forest canopy in the yet-to-be US was thick enough to allow these rodents safe passage from any point designated “A” to any other point designated “B.” Which is amazing, when you remember squirrels can’t read, much less follow a map. I also think they are territorial and much prefer to stay close to home and even hang out in their own neighborhoods.

Aside from those little difficulties, we now have (children, look away) denuded the landscape, as well as put in a number of treeless Interstate highways which the aforementioned animals can’t cross on the no longer existing trees. Given the amount of traffic, its speed and the squirrels maximum forward motion, the chances they will make it across are pretty low.

Around here, on busy West North Street, just outside my window, they use the telephone or electric wires to make the crossing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a funeral procession for one of these critters, so they seem to have caught on quick. There is a saying about “the quick and the dead,” but “quick” in this case means “alive” and not “moving like crazy.”

Maybe these days it would be possible for squirrels from the east side of town (Missouri) to cross over to the west side (Kansas) by using, as their own personal roadway, some of the power lines which go from one side of the river to the other. It would be quite a climb, but if they really wanted to visit Great-Aunt Anna, that might be the only way. We’ll keep you posted.