I see a Jinny Clark in 2014 commented about squirrels licking her rocks but they took them.
As far as I know my squirrel(s) are not taking the rocks but they move them all over the patio and yard.
The white decorative rocks are located right outside a large 3 window set that goes all the way to the floor so we have seen a gray squirrel sitting there licking rocks on several occasions.
Now we observe  rocks moved around the patio. At first only on the concrete edge of where the rocks are but now across the patio, on the back porch, even the wooden steps of the trampoline. This is Scioto County Ohio. We have lived here 32 years and those rocks have been here most of those years. The squirrels have always been here although there are a lot of them this year but this is the first year a squirrel has licked and moved the rocks.  Can you tell me why a squirrel would be interested in licking these rocks? Barbie Hicks, Scioto County, Ohio

We have a head scratcher and I’m hoping that you can shed some light on the issue. In the spring of last year, an adult Red Fox pair decided to raise a family under a log cabin near to where we live in Lakefield. I had a trail camera available and our neighbor, who owns the cabin, gave me permission to situate it so that we could see the goings on in front of the den. To make a long story short, we really enjoyed the videos of the foxes and their unwavering devotion in raising their 5 pups. Towards the end of April 2021, the mom or vixen decided to move the family (the father was now dead, killed by a coywolf and the coywolf made a habit of sniffing around the front of the den every 3 or 4 days). We learned that the fox family (minus dad) had relocated not too far away and we kept seeing foxes traversing our property. Neighbours of ours also reported that they would see the occasional fox wandering along streets in our neighborhood. I think that the last time my wife and I saw a fox was in February of this year when a pair was in our backyard. We saw their parallel footprints in the snow for a few days and one night heard a quiet one time emission of sound between them which we assumed was part of mating behaviour.
We have not seen a fox since. We have checked with neighbors – same thing, they haven’t seen any evidence of these truly beautiful and amazing animals either.
Do you have any information that would shed light on this sad situation? BTW, the rabbits are flourishing to my gardener wife’s consternation. Richard (and Hilary) Nunes, Lakefield

NOTE: If anyone has any insights on what might be happening with foxes (and maybe even coyotes?), please email me at dmonkman1@cogeco.ca A lack of predators may be one of the reasons why Eastern Cottontail rabbits are so abundant this summer.

Red Fox pups (Donald Munro)

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.