What We Can Learn From Squirrels

I happened upon a newspaper article that I would like to share on the subject of what we can learn from squirrels. Here is the part that was most interesting:

They are well-known for good qualities like working hard, saving for the future, playing for fun and displaying community spirit.  They show the essentials for long-term survival. They are also good at accommodating, adjusting, and adapting. If only we humans could learn. ~~ Rao Musunuru, Tampa Bay Times

This article brought to mind all the things we as humans have that we don’t need yet the multitude of things we do need yet forget or ignore.


Whether we simplify our lives, downsize our living space or staying where we have been there are things we need to address and take care of.

  • Enough of the right kinds of food to see us through until our  next scheduled shopping day or through a power outage.
  • Time out for laughter and some fun.
  • Time to relax and unwind, hopefully not in front of the computer or television.
  • Living with a budget to have some money set aside for emergencies.
  • Keeping our debt low or non-existent.
  • Doing our best whether at our jobs, or in quality, not necessarily quantity, of time we give to our families.
  • Can you help loved ones if they should need short-term shelter? It doesn’t have to be fancy even a couch is better than nothing.
  • Are you ready to adapt to the changing needs of your family situation?  What if a member of your immediate family lost their job? Are you over extended by so much that you couldn’t live without that income?
  • Are you connected to your neighbors enough to be able to borrow or loan out a tool or help with a problem?
  • Have you learned the skills to repair clothes or small items around your home if the day were to come that you couldn’t afford to replace them?

We are already seeing major changes around the world due to climate change.  Droughts are becoming more common, yet are we ready to adjust to these changes?

A squirrel puts up enough food to make it through any kind of winter.  You don’t see them starving.  Squirrels, and most animals, are pretty good at making a safe home for themselves and their young and are resourceful enough to make do.

Are we?


28 thoughts on “What We Can Learn From Squirrels

  1. What a great post, we should all take a leaf from the squirrel’s book. Since I lost my job last year I have had to become much more of a squirrel and it hasn’t been that hard. Now if only I could get my family to eat more nuts…


  2. Hmmm… well, they’re certainly resourceful little critters, I’ll give ‘em that! I’ve built some rather incredible contraptions trying to keep them out of my tomato plants – never works. I wouldn’t mind so much if they’d actually eat the things, but instead they just take one bite, toss it on the ground and move onto the next tomato. AAAARRRRGGGGGG!!!!


    • We have plenty here as well and while they can do damage when getting into the homes around here, I have been fortunate to escape that situation, they are indeed resourceful and a source of much fun to watch.


  3. I love comparing squirrels with an example of living well. Of course, preparing for the future is very important, but the part I like best is having fun. I get a lot of enjoyment from watching squirrels chasing each other and hoping around. They really seem to be joyous during these times.


    • I too love watching squirrels and chipmunks play. Every time I see them I think of my daughter-in-law who moved here from Arizona. Her first spring she excitedly called me to tell me she was sitting outside watching these little furry animals chase each other from one tree to the next, across power lines and through her yard. She had never seen anything like this before and did I want to come over and watch. I was in the middle of hanging my laundry, but hearing her excitement I headed over (half mile away) to join her so I could watch her reactions, she was just like a little kid laughing at their antics. It was one of the best afternoons I had.


  4. I wonder why it is that when animals follow their instincts, they provide for themselves, but when we follow our instincts, a sort of “party mentality” takes over and we forget about tomorrow?


  5. Enough put away to not shop at all next winter?…my gosh… THAT is organised…Me, I am NOT organised… If it comes to pass, I will for sure be interested to hear how you managed this..

    Right now, for the past couple years, I have been ferociously focusing on using up / not purchasing pre boxed sort of stuff…Cereals etc. In my mind I cannot fathom they can be any more nutritiious than the box they come in, maybe with some chopped apple and a cup of coffee… (and I’m really not joking)

    I am very lucky to have a freezer, and it is well stocked. I am getting MUCH better about getting fresh veggies etc often…. and have a good source for farm grown potatoes, carrots, although it is a bit far..

    The “most” boxed thing we buy/use sort of regular, is Rice.. and noodles/macaroni, and sort of try to think of these as “treats”……NOT as anything with much, if any, nutrition.

    For example, re Rice, (and I am sure I had learned this a few years ago, but forgot), couple of months ago I watched a show (How It’s Made), and they were discussing Rice…all the various kinds.. and they were produced in this place…So the guy in charge says somethign to the effect…”Well, it is important for your viewers to know, they should NEVER rinse any Rice off. They should NEVER cook it in water and drain the water off.” Interviewer asks why?..He replied, “The way Rice is processed, it strips ALL of the nutrients off, and the last step in packaging Rice, is to spray vitamins/iron onto the Rice, dry it, then box/bag it. When you rinse/cook in excess water, this comes off completely.”


    • Lynn, I so agree with you on the packaged foods. First most are made with corn or soy which here are GMO crops. I don’t trust GMO foods as more and more information comes out about them. I don’t have much in my pantry in boxes. I do keep some ramen noodles on hand for emergencies, but toss the seasonings. My pantry is full of dried beans, legumes, oatmeal and the like. I do have rice, but now will rethink that choice as well.

      When you watched the program on rice did that processing and adding vitamins at the end include brown rice and other “non-white” versions? That enrages me as I thought my brown rice was healthier. Thanks for filling me in on something I didn’t know.


      • Hi, you know, I cannot recal what they said specifically about brown rice.. Now, it cannot be quite the same, as it is not “husked” (?)…However, they did do something. And, re brown rice, I have read this several times, and was rather surprised.. Apparently it does not (Brown) last nearly as long as white rice, as it has more of the oils/fbre left in it. Apparently it is susceptible to going rancid / forming mycrotoxins / forming fungal spores. Whew… What I recal about brown rice, is it should be “fresh”, and if over a certain age, chucked. Also, not used for “long term” storage….Now, really, I have no idea what time periods are referenced. Myself, I bought brown rice, as had heard it was healthier. My husband might eat it once in blue moon, and then would not.. would “claim” it did not agree with him. My son would not eat it at all, said the smell made him feel unwell. I thought they were having me on, until I read these things, then figured maybe there was something to their claims. I now by a bag of white rice (cheap) at the wholesale place, keep the rice in a nice glass jar. We have it as a treat. And since I have talked to my Husband / Son about these things, it is much more occassional. (before my son was sort of “addicted” to white rice).

        Also, Rice, of ANY kind, apparently has a HIGH aluminum content. And Rice grown in the United States, apparently has higher aluminum content than rice grown in China. Also, apparently both high in arsenic.

        Now doesnt that just make you want to scream? It was recently I read some research article on that all.


        • I have been re-considering eating rice due to the high water costs associated with growing it. Now thanks to your information I will no longer be buying rice. There are plenty of other grains out there which are better for us, such as quinoa and those will be my go to staples. I don’t eat a lot of grains as they are high in calories and being limited in my physical abilities it’s very easy for me to put on weight. Thanks so much Lynn!


  6. Why is it that we think screen time isn’t proper relaxation time (on this, I feel the same way, but I’m not sure WHY!) And the food storage – I have a well stocked pantry. But I shop ‘daily’ for meat or vege (Daily meaning the days I eat my main meal at home). I’m lucky to be that close, and it saves waste. Then I suppose I am ‘stocking until next shopping day’? I can make a meal from what I do have, but it wouldn’t be a balanced meal. That’s ok, cause that doesn’t happen often. I suppose I favour minimialism over too much hoarded – but it’s definitely a balance – obviously with your small place you wouldn’t have a stash for a winter’s worth, would you?


    • Sarah, you make a good point. I look at computer time as fun but not necessarily relaxing. To relax I need to have my feet up, maybe with a book (is this much different from screen time?).

      I would say if you live close enough to pick up your produce more often but you have a stocked pantry which you could eat from if it were necessary then you are doing well.

      At the moment I have a well stocked pantry but until I purchase a freezer to store my produce in for winter, or the garden to eat from I too have to shop a little more often for the fresh ingredients. I hope to have enough put away between the freezer and the pantry that I won’t need to shop at all next winter. It’s a goal, now to see if I can meet it.


      • Given you get snow, I can imagine it would be great not to have to shop in winter!! You window sill option is what I used when I lived in student housing in France – it was also safer than the shared fridge, where sometimes things mysteriously got eaten.


        • LOL I have been fortunate to have only had a few months out of my life where I shared an apartment with others. Of course I think teenage boys could eat anyone out of a house (mine tried). The window was a great option this winter as a refrigerator, and the trunk of a car worked great as a safe freezer (don’t want to pay to feed all the wildlife). Now that we are into warmer weather I will have to be sure to make only what I can eat and shop a little more often for fresh produce. It’s just one big experiment.


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