Original Author: Paul McDonald, Project Officer for Argyll, the Trossachs and Stirling
Paul McDonald, Project Officer for Argyll, the Trossachs and Stirling, has fun in the snow.
One of the advantages of my position being three days per week is that I can take advantage of the weather. Today (Tuesday March 3rd), I woke up to discover that several inches of snow had laid overnight and that the snow was still falling heavily. I live in a cozy, small bothy on a farm just outside of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, about one kilometer up a rough dirt track. And that track was not passable in my small car. Knowing that I was able to postpone my office work until tomorrow, I decided to take a snow day so that I could go out and play…
I spent most of the morning out on the farm, taking a tip out of Emma’s book and doing some tracking. Tracks found included: sheep (shocking!), roe deer, fox, field vole trails, pheasants, and a variety of crows. I was fortunate enough to even find the trail of an otter, bounding through the snow, in and out of the Endrick! Unfortunately, I didn’t find any squirrel trails or sign in the nearby woods.
Without any squirrel sign, I decided to make my own evidence for squirrel presence at my home. I made a 1.5 metre snow squirrel, which you can see here. It only took me 45 minutes and only required snow, gloves, and a stick to hold the three main body parts together in the slanting position. I may be suffering from a little bit of cabin-fever, but I had a blast! I think that an activity like this could even, potentially, work with children.
Get out and make one, yourselves, the next time that there’s a big dump of snow! Please post any pictures of your snow squirrels (or their woodland friends) on our Facebook page, after you “like” it: https://www.facebook.com/SavingScotlandsRedSquirrels
While you’re out there, keep an eye out for either squirrel species and record them here on our website.