Frogs and Squirrels

I thought I’d share something ludicrous I heard on NPR this morning. They just mentioned it in passing: a species of tree frogs, native to Puerto Rico, have somehow taken up residence in Hawaii, and are causing problems because of their mating call. Apparently these dime-sized frogs each can make up to 90 decibels of noise, and there can be 10,000 frogs in an acre. Oy. Can you imagine? Now, here’s the weird part: the EPA has decided to start quieting these frogs by spraying them with caffeine. “Great,” I thought at first. “So now Hawaii’s going to be over-run by swarms of noisy, horny, overstimulated amphibians.” Actually, the theory is more sinister: the caffeine would cause cardiac failure in the frogs. (For more details, read this story.)

We have a similar problem in Glen Allen this time of year: the squirrels have lost their minds. Seriously. We have heaps of squirrels all year round, but I’m not the only one who’s noticed that they seem to be everywhere these days. Unfortunately, most of the ones we see are either racing in front of our cars when we’re going too fast to stop, or are little street-pizzas with tails bravely waving in the breeze. My vet-in-training roommate explained the phenomenon this way: the squirrels are eating the berries that grow in abundance during the fall. Many of these berries have been on the branch for a long time and are, thusly, fermented. Plus, it’s mating season for the squirrels. So the little buggers are drunk and looking to score. A word of advice, my furry friends: if an automobile is starting to look attractive, it’s closing time, and you best go sleep it off. If there’s a place in America where the EPA should be feeding the wildlife coffee, I think my backyard would be a good place to start.