Squirrels And Hellebores

It turned out to be a sunny day and it was very nice to see the snowy mountains peeking through gaps in the cloud. The grey squirrels are doing their courting chases up and down the trees. They wind round and round up the trunk, take a flying leap to another tree and wind all the way down, only to run like mad across the grass to another trunk and do it all again. Our grey squirrels are actually from the east as they were introduced in the early 1900's.  They are <i>Sciurus carolinensis</i>, and apparently the Latin word for squirrel, <i>sciurus</i>, is derived from two Greek words, skia, meaning shadow, and oura, meaning tail. So loosely, a squirrel is one that sits in the shadow of its own tail, which is very apt. There are two more kinds of squirrel here, the nocturnal flying squirrel and the Douglas squirrel who is a fiesty little character who hangs out in the conifer areas of BC.  There was some worry that the grey squirrels would oust the Douglas squirrels but the two species apparently don't really overlap in habitat so resources can be divided.  (You know, the more you look at the word 'squirrel', the more bizarre it becomes. I hate it when words do that.) And why am I talking about squirrels?  I meant to mention that the hellebores are already blooming, a little earlier than last year, just a little.