Perhaps because it’s going to be an early winter — many trees are already turning, and I’m shedding tears for them — the red squirrels are out in force this weekend, hunting around our neck ‘o the woods in the Shawangunk Mountains in Southern New York state. From my bedroom window today (while half watching Project Runway), I’ve counted three red squirrels racing around the long branches of the hemlocks that surround our home. Their routine: They grab a tiny pinecone (hemlock cones seem custom fit for the diminutive red squirrel), strip it of the seeds, then race back to their den. They’ve been at it hours, looking like frantic commuters scurrying out of the trains at Grand Central, desperate to keep up with the near panic of going, going, going.
Of course, I didn’t bring my Nikon this weekend, thinking the dreary weather wouldn’t inspire me to take any photos. Wrong. Always wrong. So far, this is the best shot I’ve gotten, and because it’s so lame, I iPhoned-edited it all to hell to make it look more like a painting.
(Frequent readers of Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels know that the masthead above is a red squirrel, a favorite of Joy’s.)
Today, on Squirrel Appreciation Day, the workers of the Kaibab National Forest designated more than 200,000 acres of the parks to the kaibab squirrel. In response, Squirrels Squirrels Squirrels hereby bequeaths a giant acorn to the KNF!
From the Prescott Daily Courier:
“Dr. Joseph D. Hall, who conducted [an] evaluation on the squirrel and its habitat, stated that the Kaibab squirrel is, in a local way, as significant a species as the finches Charles Darwin studied on the Galapagos Islands.
Like the finches of the Galapagos, natural geographic boundaries including the Grand Canyon have restricted the Kaibab squirrel’s movement and allowed it to evolve into the species seen today.”
I love squirrels but I don’t live near any, meaning I don’t get to enjoy them on a daily basis.
But this week we’re house-sitting in Coyoacan, a neighborhood in southern Mexico City. And there’s several fantastic, noisy, social squirrels roaming about the property, enjoying the lush gardens. One of them (below) looks like a typical squirrel, the other one is dark brown and has a very thin tail – not sure what species he/she is. They are having a fun time barking at my dog, who, in turn, is barking back.
They’re also falling prey to my lens!
The Daily Mail has an article today on Pete, a squirrel that hangs around a school in Hampshire, U.K.
What makes Pete so interesting is that he’s purple:
Read the article to find out what may be behind Pete’s purple coat! And here are more photos.
Red squirrels normally set up their nests far away from humans and other predators. But an oddball squirrel in Pennsylvania decided to make use of a Ford Explorer while the owners were away, reports the Centre Daily newspaper.
The article states “Under the hood, every nook and cranny of the engine compartment was filled with black walnuts, grasses, rope and even cotton as the squirrel built its nest there.”
Click the link above to see the amazing photo of the complicated nest.