Parker County Today July 2016 - Page 52

our stories: WILDLIFE And In The Center Ring . . . Goin’ Nuts BY DEBBIE NEWKIRK JULY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Wild Bird Center in Weatherford, Texas OK. Let’s get it out in the open right from the start: every squirrel is born with a degree in engineering and a slide rule. Their ability to overcome obstacles in pursuit of our birdseed is phenomenal. They seem to calculate arc, trajectory, pitch and fall rates with unerring accuracy, and they are absolutely fearless in testing their theories. They offer continual entertainment in exchange for all the food they can liberate. It sometimes seems like a threering circus in your yard. In the center ring, there’s Lucy and Ethel. These two ladies actually cooperate for their act — a rare occurrence in squirreldom. Faced with the counterweighted “squirrel-proof” feeder, Lucy and Ethel stumbled on to a unique system: Ethel would sit on the back of the feeder, adding her weight to the amount required to close the trap door so Lucy could scoop out seed at the front, eating her fill, and apparently spilling enough in the process to keep Ethel happy on the ground afterwards. The Iron Squirrel Pentathlete is a remarkable showman. This specimen of squirreldom combines the best of track and field events with the flexibility of a gymnast to climb ropes, chains, and wires; travel paw-over-paw on a fine wire over vast spaces; do double flips and hanging from 50 About Squirrels