A bit of rain fell on this Gray Squirrel this Saturday afternoon. Predictions are for a couple of inches of snow overnight. This little one (a scrapper, I suppose, by the looks of that ear) was getting ready to fill up on sunflower seeds from the bird feeders. I sometimes place out piles of seeds, making it easier on the squirrels, and the waiting birds.
From Wild Animals of North America:
On the approach of winter they lay up stores of seeds and nuts in holes in trees and in little hiding places on the ground. Many nuts are hidden away singly. In the public parks of Washington, where many gray squirrels exist, I have repeatedly seen them dig a little pit two or three inches deep, then push a nut well down it cover it with earth, which they press firmly in place with the front feet, and then pull loose grass over the spot. One squirrel will have many such hidden nuts, and with nothing to mark the location it appears impossible that they could be recovered. That the squirrels knew what they were doing I have had repeated evidence in winter, even with several inches of snow on the ground, when they have been seen sniffing along the top of the snow, suddenly stop, dig down and unearth a nut with a precision that demonstrates the marvelous delicacy of their sense of smell. Although mainly diurnal, they are sometimes abroad on moonlight nights, especially when gathering stores of food for winter.