Poor London Squirrels

December 17th, 2010 by Potato

The snow here has been just insane. I wonder sometimes if it’s not real, and just a product of my prolonged illness. Sadly, I can’t wish it away as some kind of fever dream, since I’m not all that sick (just a stupid cough that won’t clear up now).

The city seems to have found some crazy new plows for the sidewalks that I don’t recall seeing in previous years. They cut through the drifts leaving a nearly vertical wall of snow on either side of the cleared path. Though by my reckoning we’ve had roughly 5 feet of snow fall in total over the last week and a half, the general snow accumulation isn’t nearly that high as it has been melting and compacting thanks to bright sunshine whenever it’s not an active snowsquall, plus a final dump of heavy, wet snow last week. Nonetheless, there is still a solid two foot wall of snow lining the sidewalks.

And as I discovered today, that is too much snow for a squirrel to bound over.

I was walking to work and saw a squirrel on the sidewalk playing in the snow. At first I thought he was just having fun, slipping and sliding and jumping around, the equivalent of pulling squirrel doughnuts. But soon I saw he was either very sick, drunk, or exhausted. He let me get very close as I was walking down the sidewalk, then tried to run away from me, but kept slipping over and falling into the wall of snow. I stood back to let him get some room, and then he tried to jump up and over the snowbank to get out of the sidewalk canyon. It took him something like 8 tries, some of which weren’t even close to getting up — he’d try one side, then turn around to go for the other but jump halfway across the sidewalk and land before even reaching the other snowbank, crash into it after sliding, turn around, and try again. I didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically, feel sad, or call animal control over his weird behaviour (I ended up splitting the difference on the first two). He did finally get up and over, and then basically swam through the snow drifts to a tree. Once on solid bark, he just hung there and wheezed.

The paths carved through the snow in London. Note that this was taken a few days ago, and we've had over two more feet of snow since, but the banks aren't much higher due to meltage and compression.

2 Responses to “Poor London Squirrels”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Dude, if I was trying to jump over something 10 times as tall as I am, 8 times, then wade through a semi-solid that was over my head, when I came to something solid, I’d sit there and wheeze as well.

  2. Rez Says: