All I want for Christmas is 11…red squirrels…a leaping?

See tons more photos on the Daily Mail web site.

See tons more photos on the Daily Mail web site.

Or, even just this one fantastic little guy, dubbed “Ginger Ninja” who can jump great distances. He’s featured in the U.K. Daily Mail. 

If a human could jump the equivalent distance (for our body size), it would be like leaping over a semi truck — from front to back. A useful skill indeed, but we humans are doing pretty good these days, compared to a lot of other wildlife, so we’re satisfied with just admiring the far cuter red squirrel a leaping.

 

It’s Full Throttle Frenzy Time for New York Red Squirrels

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.)

Squirrel Builds Massive Nest in Ford Explorer Engine

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.

True Story: Squirrel Stalks Man in Forest

A column in the Canton, Illinois Daily Ledger illustrates how smart squirrels are. My guess is the writer encountered a red squirrel, a species that is notoriously entertaining AND territorial, aggressive and noisy. Not to mention totally cute.

“I came upon this squirrel sitting low in a tree branch…. I guess he was too busy eating at the time. Needless to say, I scared the squirrel to death. It went higher in the tree and then proceeded to “scold” me….Well, I tired of its game and moved on. The squirrel, however, had other plans and decided to follow me, barking the whole time. … I then stood and looked at the forest around me. It was about that time that a walnut, still in its casing, crashed to the ground right beside me. The collision with the earth felt as though a small tremor had just moved through. Just another foot and this thing might have knocked me cold.”

Endangered U.K. Red Squirrels Developing Immunity to Virus?

Finally, a bit of good news for the dwindling red squirrel population in the United Kingdom: They may be making a comeback, thanks to increasing immunity against a deadly squirrel pox virus.

We’ve been covering the red squirrel dilemma for a long time (which has involved slaughtering and eating grey squirrels so as to reduce their invasive population — they are immune to the virus) so any good news is a sight for sore squirrel bloggers’ eyes.