But especially, in the winter, the extent to which this transportation and planting of nuts is carried on, is made apparent by the snow.
In almost every wood you will see where the red or gray squirrels have pawed down through the snow in a hundred places,
sometimes two feet deep, and almost always directly to a nut or a pine cone,
as directly as if they had started from it and bored upward,—which you and I could not have done.
It would be difficult for us to find one before the snow falls.
Commonly, no doubt, they had deposited them there in the fall.
You wonder if they remember the localities or discover them by the scent.
The red squirrel commonly has its winter abode in the earth under a thicket of evergreens,
frequently under a small clump of evergreens in the midst of a deciduous wood.
If there are any nut trees, which still retain their nuts, standing at a distance without the wood,
their paths often lead directly to and from them.
We, therefore, need not suppose an oak standing here and there in the wood in order to seed it,
but if a few stand within twenty or thirty rods of it, it is sufficient.
I think that I may venture to say that every white-pine cone that falls to the earth naturally in this town,
before opening and losing its seeds, and almost every pitch-pine one that falls at all, is cut off by a squirrel;