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 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.
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.
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.
Eastern Gray Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I looked out of my window yesterday afternoon, peaking between the blinds, and saw a squirrel on the maple branch above me. He appeared to be eating the maple blossoms…I have been watching the maple blossoms since they were just tiny red beads on the branch tips. Maple blossoms are one of my favorite things about spring. They are so beautiful, and so unlikely. I suspect the vast majority of Americans do not know that maples flower, and certainly do not know how beautiful the flowers are. Our blossoms are not quite ready to open into full flowers yet, but they have made a lot of progress the past few days. I certainly did not expect to see the squirrels eating them. A google peruse this morning shows that it is common behavior…to the extent that are recommended “cures” to keep squirrels from decimating ornamental maples in folk’s yards. We have so many maple trees here in Southern Maine, and even in our yard, that it would take a plague of squirrels of biblical proportions (as they say) to do much damage. Much as I appreciate maple flowers, if the squirrels prefer them to my sunflower seeds in season, I say “let them eat flowers!” Anyway, I got my camera and spent a while watching and photographing the squirrel getting into all kinds of greedy postures among the maple blossoms. Each of these three shots tells its own story, and together they tell a tale. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400, 250, and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Grey Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Great light, engaging squirrel…what could go wrong? I was in my backyard photo blind (a chair blind I put out when I need it, and take down when I don’t), and the squirrel was certainly aware I was in there. He or she was not threatened enough to do more than aggressively posture…but posture he or she did. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Red Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — another look at destructive captain of cute…the Red Squirrel that visited our deck a few days ago. I have not seen it since so maybe it was just out scouting for territory on that particularly warm February day. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Taken through double glazed glass. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +1 EV exposure compensation.
Red Squirrel: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I know Red Squirrels are not good neighbors…ounce for ounce one of the most potentially destructive of creatures, at least as far as human property goes, but I have to admit to still liking to see them in the yard. They are just so cute, and mischievous with it…it is hard not to enjoy them…at least while they are not actively undermining the foundations or eating their way into the attic. This one was out for an early forage in the 40 degree weather yesterday and spent a half hour or so in our yard and on our deck among the feeders, cleaning up spilled seed and trying just about every way it could think of to get into the feeders…without success so far, but I have my eye on it. Sony Rx10iv at 189mm equivalent. Taken through double glazed deck doors. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/400th.
Eastern Grey Squirrel, Kennebunk, Maine. I was taking photos of the birds out my back deck door, standing in the open slide, when this squirrel hopped up on the rail and came pretty much right up to me. This was taken at about 3 feet. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
I think squirrels are cute…but that does not mean I give them a free pass when it comes to raiding my bird feeders. I have invested in a set of “squirrel proof” feeders and suet cages that, for the most part, defeat the squirrels’ attempts at criminal trespass. That does not mean they don’t try, several times a day, sometimes once an hour. The idea of all that food, right there in easy view, is evidently just too much for them, even when past experience has proven that they can’t get at it. It is entertaining to watch them, and I don’t mind anything they take from the ground under the feeders, even when I scatter seed for the sparrows. If it is on the ground it is fair game. This mother squirrel is one of the pack of 3 or 4 who come to our yard every day. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.