Posts in Category: squirrel

Maine! Squirrel Rodeo

Eastern Grey Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, March 2024 — The other day I got out for a walk around the neighborhood with my camera, and found quite a few of the local squirrels having a rodeo in a large open lot up the street. There were at least a dozen of them, chasing each other across the yard in close pursuit, round and round the big pines, and high into the branches, juggling buried acorns from last year. It looked like fun, and was certainly fun to watch. OM System OM-1Mkii with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications (works for small mammals just as well). Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Don’t get your tail in a twist

Eastern Grey Squirrel, Mousam River Reserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, March 2024 — The squirrels were very active on one of the first moderately warm days of spring, everywhere I went yesterday. And feisty…even for feisty squirrels. This one was doing the whole “You shall not pass!” thing from the Lord of the Rings…his tail whipping around behind him like Gandalf’s cloak. I took a burst of shots hoping to catch the tail in an interesting position. 🙂 OM System OM-1Mkii with 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Maine! Grey Squirrel (I see you!)

Grey Squirrel: Kennebunk Maine, USA, May 2023 — When you live in Maine you practice Animal Auto Focus on any wildlife available…mostly squirrels. 🙂 This squirrel did its “laying out flat on a branch” thing for me, and watched me inside my hide. He very definitely knew exactly where I was and was keeping track of what I was doing. We have two different framings here: 800mm equivalent and, using the digital tele-converter in the OM-1, 1600mm equivalent. In both cases the camera automatically kept focus on the eye. Program mode with my evolving wildlife modifications. (That is what the practice is all about.) Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f6.3 @ 1/500th. Minus .7EV.

Cheating on Red

Red-Squirrel, Alwive Pond Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — So this is totally cheating. This is the same Red Squirrel I posted twice already (different pose in a different section of the tree, but still from the same encounter). The problem was that the background was totally washed out…I mean so white that I could not recover any detail in it. Still, I like the pose so I thought, lets have a little fun with it. I took it into Pixomatic for some MagicCut work, refined the results, and pasted in another forest photo, taken with the iPhone at Laudholm Farms. Adjusted the brightness and contrast to make it fit better. Took the result back into Polarr and worked on it some more. Finished it off in Apple Photos. It is not perfect, but I put as much time into it as I was willing to give this morning, and it makes for an interesting image (and an interesting exercise). I think 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed as above. Just for fun.

Another of the Alwive Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Alwive Pond Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another shot of the Red Squirrel I encountered on my way out from Alwive Pond the other day. In processing this one I noticed that he has all four paws off the tree…so mid leap. I really like the out of focus branch in the background of this series. Also notice the back patch in his tail. Red Squirrel are highly variable in color and color pattern, but i have not seen this back spot in the tail before. A very handsome squirrel. Sony Rx10iv at 400mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Another low light shot. ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/400th.

Entertaining Red

Red Squirrel: Alwive Pond Preserve, Kennebunk Land Trust, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — When I visit Alwive Pond I am always hoping for a moose. I saw on there in early 90s. 🙂 Now days I have to be mostly satisfied with a Red Squirrel, and some visits I don’t even see one of those. I caught this one gathering leaves, probably as nest lining, and, as Red Squirrels will, he decided to contest the trail with me, facing off a daring me to come any closer. Very entertaining. He was all over the tree trunk, striking aggressive poses in hopes that I would back away. I particularly like this apparent handstand on the twiggy branch. It was overcast by the time I was headed out, October mid-afternoon, but there was not a lot of light under the heavy canopy of pines, so this shot is testing the image quality limits of the Sony Rx10iv at high ISO. 400mm equivalent (that’s how close I was). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr using my Sony High ISO preset, so some noise suppression involved, and finished off in Apple Photos. ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/400th.

Red returns again

Red Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another pose of our visiting Red Squirrel. I told the story yesterday. I took about 120 frames and saved a dozen or so, of the different poses. This fists up pose is his defensive, or maybe aggressive, posture when he was attempting to dispute the ownership of our back deck with me. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 418mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Red is back again

Red Squirrel: Kennbunk, Maine, USA — We had a Red Squirrel visiting yesterday…probably the same one that visited a month ago…but it is really hard to tell. This time I decided not to be satisfied with photos through the thermal glass deck door. I opened the door gently and, when the squirrel did not take much notice, I stepped out on the deck. For the next half hour I watched and photographed as the squirrel continued to explore and enjoy the feeding station. As I noted in the last Red Squirrel post, he (or she) can get into all the feeders…even squeezing through the outer cage around our double cage suet feeder. Once inside it climbs up on top of the inner cage where the suet is and eats its full…if indeed it understands the concept of “full”. I suspect it would eat the whole block. If I went right over to the cage while it was in it…it would scamper out…but it did not leave the deck. This is a bold Red Squirrel indeed. It would sit on the rail, staring at me, and chattering, laying its claim to the deck and all the feeders. It came back several times during the morning, but I did not see it after that, and it has not appeared this morning yet, so I suspect it has moved on to another yard, or returned to its own territory in whichever of the surrounding stands of trees it calls home. And to be honest, while I enjoy its visits, I would not want a family of them making a home in the yard. They get into everything. It was another “dark” day yesterday…very like the last visit…with heavy overcast and some mist in the air, but being able to photograph without the glass between us made for much more satisfying shots. Sony Rx10iv. This particular shot at 380mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ 1/500th @ f4.

Nothing is safe from a Red Squirrel

Carol called me from the bedroom where I was setting up for my morning qi gong. I thought she said “I think there is a dead squirrel here…” so I came to look…turns out she said “I think there is a Red Squirrel here…” and, indeed, there was. A highly caffeinated Red Squirrel at that. In the 10 minutes or so it was on our deck, it was everywhere, and into everything…all very rapid…a lightning raid before it scampered off. Red Squirrels must live in the surrounding woodlands, but they only appear in our yard once or twice a year, at least while we are looking. Just as well too, since nothing is safe from a Red Squirrel…we have come to an uneasy truce with our resident Grey Squirrels and Chipmunks (we are host to at least 4 squirrels and what sometimes seems to the hundreds, but is more likely dozens of Eastern Chipmunks), but the Red Squirrel is another beast altogether and no “squirrel proof” feeding solution will even mildly discourage them. Still, they are undeneighably cute with their rusty tail, little round ears and big round eyes…and those little paws…and it was fun to watch one scamper all over our deck and feeders…for a change…once in a great while. Sony Rx10iv at 500-600mm equivalent…through the thermopane glass of our deck door. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. And, of course, before full sun-up so the light was a problem.

Mom to be

Grey Squirrel, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Some of the squirrels in our yard are already getting ready for the first litter of the year…the females are getting just a bit plump and, in compromising positions, you can see their nipples swelling. You can just see the first signs here. This is the only time of year I can tell the females from the males. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.