It’s autumn, and the squirrels are gathering their supplies for winter. Fair enough.

But they’re doing it everywhere. And there seem to be millions of them. I have seen more squirrels lately than I ever noticed before. Is it just that I didn’t look in other years, or are they planning some kind of offensive?

Whenever the weather permits and the piles of work aren’t too precariously high, I grab my iPod and walk the hood for about an hour. It’s refreshing and good exercise … and about the only time in life that I get away from the computer. It used to be that I’d see maybe a squirrel or two along my give-or-take three-mile journey. They would scamper away at a distance as I approached.

Lately, the squirrels seem to have seriously multiplied. And they are brazenly unafraid. They run alongside the sidewalk where I’m tramping along. They scamper up a nearby tree and stay on the side of the trunk I’m looking at, gazing back at me as I pass. They frolic on the grass or in the road, hardly noticing I’m there.

Ah, but the roads … now that’s a problem. Congruently, I’ve also seen a heckuva lot more squirrel roadkill this year. I know, I know, people say these little furry nut-hunters are like country rats — disease carrying and vicious at times. But, come on, they are so adorable and such fun to watch as they run around nervously micromanaging their corner of the world. They’re like the desperate housewives of woodland creatures.

My roomy has named the squirrel that frequents our backyard Skippy. (Never mind that, like Lassie, “Skippy” is probably a dozen or more different creatures, changing places at whim and will. I don’t want to burst my roomy’s bubble.)  This perky-eared rodent (or series of rodents) is a giggle a minute.  He’ll perch on a fencepost, make quacking noises, and shake his bushy tail, taunting my cat, seeming to know instinctively that the feline predator is trapped on his screened-porch observation deck. Or he’ll try climbing or jumping onto the bird feeder — which is not meant for him and is tricked out to prevent his efforts — eventually settling for picking at the seeds on the ground below that the birds have been kind and clumsy enough to drop.

Skippy has friends now.  Many friends.  They are everywhere.

So, if you have a chance, I’d love to hear the news about the squirrel activity in other parts of the country. Maybe we all need to start getting ready to fend them off — heck, if they get their flying cousins involved, they could really do some damage.  Forget the zombie apocalypse; we might have a squirrel apocalypse on our hands.

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