I thought I’d give you a few updates:
Well, I have to admit that I’m not quite at the same level of Squirrel Whispering that my brother is…but I have made some progress. It’s amazing how little time it took for the few squirrels who visit our yard (and there might actually be hundreds – I can only identify one so far) to learn that when I call “Peanuts! Peanuts!” there is something good to eat to be had. We have what I call the “Front Porch Squirrel” and the “Back Porch Squirrel.” The front porch squirrel’s name is Mittens because he has something wrong with one of his front paws. The back porch squirrel, I thought, had white ears, but then I realized that all of them (many of them?) have white ears. The red squirrels that my brother has in Saginaw seemed much easier to tell apart!
Mittens seems to have the most courage. He’s come within a few feet of me to take a peanut, but not yet from my hand. Those in the back seem a little more skittish, but they have learned not to run away when I call to them. They get that I have food. I am hopeful that in the spring, when it’s warmer and the back door is in use, I can get one to take a peanut from my hand. Can’t let my brother be better at something than I am!
LOUA Design Committee
The LOUA Design Committee had its first meeting last week. Judy Bonette was kind enough to take on the duties of chair and host the first meeting. She and her husband, Pete (yes, another Pete in LOUA!) came up with many different ideas of how LOUA can make the Arboretum even better than it already is. We talked about rain gardens, native plantings, and some of the other projects that we can do. We also hope to work hard to educate our neighbors about the beauty and wonder of native trees and plantings. All in all, it was a very productive meeting, and I am very excited to see where we go from here!
A Tale of Two Talks
Pete’s talk about how the Arboretum started had about 30-40 people in attendance with lots of questions about what we’ve done and where we are going. There was also interest in other urban arboretums starting around Columbus. However, the talk didn’t start out so well. Pete got up very early (6am!) to make sure everything was in order. We were having our new stove installed around 10am. A few minutes after 10am the phone rang, and it was Shelby, asking if Pete was around. I said “Yes” and handed off the phone. Next thing I heard was, “Ten o’clock?! (Expletive) I’m on my way!!” Seems the talk was at 10am, not 11am as Pete had thought. But it all ended well; thank goodness we are very close to the Whetstone Library.
Mike Graziano’s talk about the turtles in the Olentangy had about 20 people. Mike, of course, wasn’t late to his talk…The presentation was very informative – Pete even said that he learned something new about the how turtle nests were being destroyed by racoons. There is such a huge diversity of turtles in the Olentangy: map, soft-shell, Midland painted and musk turtles. I once found a baby snapping turtle on the Olentangy bike trail. It was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. Fortunately, Pete told me where the turtle needed to go (obviously in the middle of the bike path was not the safest place to be) and off he went to grow big and strong. Pete once moved one off of a road in Connecticut that was about half of his height. It was huge!
Until next time!