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.)