Sometimes I will get busy with a task I think has purpose and meaning, only to discover I’ve just been squirreling around.

I live in the high desert next to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. For several decades now, I’ve been working on maintaining a pleasant plot of land. I want everything to live and grow in harmony, and that includes local birds, coyotes, deer, bears, snakes, wildflowers, grasses, trees and even squirrels.

Recently though, the local squirrel population has begun to dominate the yard. They come scampering in from everywhere, hoards of them, eating the birdseed, chomping on plants and flowers and forming gangs that hang out around my little, pregnable greenhouse.

So I immediately went to work and purchased a Squirrelinator, a wire device with trapdoors that can safely capture a dozen squirrels at a time. The device worked well, and I began to transport legions of squirrels a couple of miles up the mountain. I set them free next to a gurgling stream with plenty of grass and bid them happy trails.

After about a month, and a dozen trips up the mountain, I ran into a neighbor up by my drop-off spot. He was coming down his drive in a pickup. In the back was another Squirrelinator chock full of squirrels. This old cowboy explained how he was attempting to grow a garden, and that he’d been capturing and bringing a couple of miles down the mountain all of these squirrels that had been eating his vegetables.

We both chuckled – kind of – and agreed to find new squirrel delivery sites.

So I’m thinking, if I were a squirrel talking to a buddy I’d be saying, “Why bother strolling up and down this mountain when these nice old men are willing to give us a ride?”

I wonder how many more things I do at work and at home that keep me busy but turn out to be totally…nuts.