Apparently, Jan. 21 is “Squirrel Appreciation Day.” It seems hard to believe that anyone would feel the need to honor these greedy long-toothed rodents, but given the eco-mania that has swept the nation, it’s hardly surprising.
Here’s an explanation of Squirrel Appreciation Day from the website www.holidayinsights.com, followed by appropriate commentary:
“Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels. It’s held in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife. Sure, squirrels spent all fall gathering and “squirreling ” away food. But, their supplies may not be enough. And, the variety of food is limited. So, give them an extra special treat today to supplement their winter diets.”
So, essentially, Squirrel Appreciation Day is a squirrel welfare program. Sorry, but if the squirrels haven’t set enough food aside, that’s their own tough luck. It’s not like we all haven’t done enough for them already, anyway. Squirrels are notorious for wrecking gardens and raping bird feeders throughout the spring, summer and fall. Does it really make sense to give these voracious creatures an “extra treat” when they’re already feasting off our labor for most of the year?
“Not everyone likes squirrels. While they are fun to watch skirting around the yard and trees, they are aggressive at bird feeders. Squirrels tip almost any bird feeder and spill the seeds in search of the particular seeds they want. In the fall, they attack pumpkins on front porches in search of the seeds inside. For gardeners they dig up and steal flower bulbs, and may eat some of the veggies in your garden.”
Sorry, there’s not much fun about watching a bushy-tailed rat ravish home-grown vegetables and taunt pets.
“When you think about it, mid winter is the best time to appreciate squirrels. In the winter they provide a little entertainment. During other times of the year, you may look at them as a pest in the flower and vegetable gardens.”
If you’re turning to squirrels for winter entertainment, you’ve got problems. And again, why would you want to encourage a pest during the one season when they’re food supply is on the wane? One doesn’t try to revive an influenza virus after taking antibiotics, does one?
“According to Christy Hargrove, the founder, ‘Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group – anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.'”
How’s this for a celebration, Christy: We get a group of folks together and devise he most effective way to eradicate these infernal eating machines, then have a big party afterward? Whoever bags the most squirrels gets a cash prize. That’s the kind of “day” gardeners, bird lovers and other normal folks alike can all “appreciate.”
Update: There’s even a blog devoted solely to squirrels. Sounds like someone has too much free time on their hands.