I always get a kick out of our familiar Ground Squirrels when they leave the ground and climb up into the bushes. This one wasn’t just up there for the view. It chose a bush of Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla), a native aromatic evergreen shrub, and snacked on the flowers. Humans have been using the flowers, leaves, and seeds of this plant for food and medicine for thousands of years. Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators love the nectar. Finches, sparrows, towhees and many other birds love the seeds. This squirrel challenges gardeners’ wisdom to the effect that mammals stay away from the plant because of its pungent odor. Maybe deer and rabbits find sage unappetizing, but Ground Squirrels — at least this one! — will climb to the top of the shrub to get some.