Picnic Guest


It’s Labor Day in Long Beach and guess who’s coming to dinner? Yes, a squirrel. So where are all the pictures of barbecues and beach volleyball? I was fascinated that this squirrel was so domesticated and willing to approach that I asked myself why is he or she carrying a nut, and not feasting on the table droppings of our group.

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, which includes small or medium-size rodents. The squirrel family includes the tree squirrel as in our picture.. After a little research, I found that squirrels cannot digest cellulose, and therefore must rely on foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats. So, they love nuts.

Our squirrel carried along his food in the hopes of burying it in the right spot. However, in the spring these nuts can sprout and, ironically are no longer viable food for the squirrel. Soon, along came a “cousin” without a nut, who was munching on bits of hamburger!

Sure enough, according to Wikipedia “Some squirrels also consume meat, especially when faced with hunger”  Theory vindicated! Well, this probably needs a controlled experiment, so I think I will get back to my hamburger.

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