Thursday, February 5, 2015

Under Attack in the RV Park!

One morning in the fall we were awakened by the loud noise of an object hitting the roof of our RV.  Before we could get dressed to see what had happened, we heard several more thuds like rocks landing right above our heads.  It sounded like we were being attacked!  When I got outside, I could see that our RV was surrounded with dozens of Douglas Fir cones on the ground and the RV roof was covered with cones, too.
Douglas Fir cone
Douglas Fir cones can be identified by the bracts that resemble the tail and hind legs of a small animal.  Many of the cones were quite large and heavy with moisture.

Douglas Fir Cone in Hand
Further inspection around the RV revealed another interesting discovery.  Something had apparently been sitting on one of our slide-out track supports chewing apart the cones.

Douglas Fir Seeds
So, the mystery of what was was hitting our roof was solved, but now the question was, who?

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
I looked up into the tall Douglas Fir trees around our RV site looking for clues.  I heard a chirping noise and spotted our suspect sitting on a branch.

Douglas Squirrel or Chickaree  (Tamiasciurus douglasii)
He or she chirped at me for a few seconds and ran up the tree.  I watched as it went out on a branch and soon more cones were falling out of the tree.

I think the culprit was identified and there didn't seem to be any damage to the roof.  I must admit, Douglas squirrels are very entertaining to watch and hear chattering up in the tree tops as they harvest the cones.

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