There weren’t any squirrels in the town where I grew up.
I didn’t know to remark on that fact when I was young.
It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I discovered two apparent truisms regarding urban squirrels:
Squirrels can be boldly urbane, in their own chattery twitchy way.
Squirrels occur en masse in every town and city I have since inhabited.
Despite this, or perhaps as a result, I haven’t thought or written much about squirrels. That pleasant oblivion ended abruptly last summer. In 2014, my typical gardening frenzy was necessarily pared down to a few pots of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs on a borrowed balcony.
The other weekend, I was out hiking in an area of southwest Wyoming resplendent with big sagebrush.
As my husband and our puppy cruised ahead, I lagged behind, peering at some strange growths on the tips of a sagebrush’s leaves. The more I looked, the more I found, and the more I found, the more curious I became.