At the moment there are no Christmas lights sparkling from my windows, not yet, but a seasonal ornament is being constructed in a tree in easy view from inside the house. It is quite a curious winter decoration.
I first noticed the wad of pine tree twigs obstructing my usual walking path to the front door after a particularly blustery day. To avoid tripping in the dark over the Ozark version of a tumbleweed, it wound up in the burning pile of brush collected after several windy days. For a few moments I pondered the whys and the wherefores with no resolution, but my eyes didn’t get involved in solving the mystery.
At least not right away, not until I noticed a few more pine tree twigs creating a loosely formed mound in the same spot. Curious. Remembering grade school fun facts, I looked up into the pine tree, into the branches close to the trunk, scanning for a squirrel’s nest. None to be found there, though there are several in the oak trees around the yard.
Emulating Sherlock Holmes’ thorough investigations, I began to search from the ground up. There it was, at my eye level, lacing two low limbs together, a nest of twigs lined with oak leaves, sporting a strand of green ribbon I used to tie up my tomato plants back in the spring.
To clear up what was obviously a muddled memory of grade school squirrel facts, I turned to Google. I did not know that some squirrels in some states will mate in the spring and in December/January. I did not know that squirrels may have more than one nest, one perhaps for storage, and a spare if the bugs infest their main abode. I did not know juvenile squirrels will build nests for practice.
Mystery solved, perhaps? The creation must be a demo built by one who is afraid of heights, one who thinks outside the usual squirrel box, with a developing design sense as reflected in the addition of the green ribbon to stage the abode for the Christmas season.
I’d better get on the stick.