I hate making predictions. So I'll just defer to the squirrels and the systems of nature.

It’s a still much-too-hot Autumn. Portland’s second longest period without rain in recorded history.
Thanks to a paltry 0.02” of precipitation which technically ended the dry spell, the #1 spot is still held by the year 1967. The other chart toppers include 2022, 2021, 2017 and 2012, in that order, which sure looks like a warming trend to me.

I noticed the squirrels have been way more manic than past Autumns in their mission to hide nuts. Black walnuts from a neighbor’s tree. They spastically skritch & grind the green husks to a pile of shavings, then stash the nut someplace. Frequently digging up my fall seedlings and summer potatoes which is annoying but also amusing when I find nuts in, say, my toolbox, under a rug, in a candle holder or perched in The Root That Looks Like Tom Waits™.


They put a lot of thought into their hiding spots, revising as necessary. Within a week, The Root That Looks Like Tom Waits™ had his walnut pakul relocated.

The black walnuts stain their mouths and “hands” black. The first year I saw one, I thought it was some sort of disease until after awhile I made the connection.

One squirrel has been especially focused on using the Deck Shack for hiding spots. I know it’s a her, because while I sat outside typing, for some reason she cautiously approached on the table, stopped a couple feet from me and stared oddly, perhaps sizing me up for a likely nut stash. It was then that I observed her nipples.

(Note: Potential Penthouse Letters Lede: Sizing me up for a likely nut stash, it was then that I observed her nipples…)



I thought accelerated squirrel prep could likely be the sign of a colder than typical winter coming, and sure enough – Google pointed me towards a few sources that claim this idea, including this rundown of other animal signs in the “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” which is not to be confused with the “Farmers Almanac” which could comparatively be called the “New Farmers Almanac”. The “old” being first published in 1792 and the name-usurper only launched in 1820, a generation later.

Kind of like Sonny Boy Williamson #1 vs. Sonny Boy Williamson #2. While I might generally say Sonny Boy #2 was “better” (definitely on the vocals), Sonny Boy #1 was such a pioneer that his own sound is vitally important and also imitated by others in blues history. He wrote that well-known jailbait anthem, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” which I’m surprised hasn’t been banned yet. (Good morning little schoolgirl / can I come home with you? Tell your mama and your papa / I’m a little school boy too.)

Sonny Boy #2’s real name was Rice Miller, while Sonny Boy Original’s real name was John Lee Curtis Williamson, which is interesting, him having 2/3’s of another blues dude’s name.

I put zero faith in the Old Farmer’s Almanac as long-term weather prognosticator, and I’m sure no one actually does. The weather predictions seem to exist only as a legacy PR tool with the magazine format being the main business. Analysis has shown they’re lucky to get a 50% accuracy rate, i.e., a coin toss.

So, getting back to overactive squirrels – we’ll see how that all pans out in the future. Until winter, I remain a neutral observer, neither promoting nor rejecting the idea, but trusting data alone.


# # #


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *