Posts in Category: mammal

Squirrel among the Maple blossoms

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.

Red Squirrel revisited

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.

Confiding squirrel

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.

Naughty Chipmunk!

I have discovered before this that “squirrel proof” feeders are not necessarily “chipmunk proof”. The chipmunk is often just light enough not to fully trip the squirrel protection. As this chipper has discovered there is just enough of a gap to give limited access to the seed…not enough of a gap to make it easy, but enough of a gap to make it possible. Fortunately there are easier ways to get food, and the chipmunks do not empty the feeder…only taking a few seeds at a time. Still, this one I caught in the act. Naughty chipmunk! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Portrait of Mrs. Squirrel

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.

Criminal intent…

The Grey Squirrels use my bird feeder setup near my photo blind as a jungle gym. All my feeders are, at least to the extent possible given modern technology, squirrel proof, and they have not yet solved the problems presented, so my seed is, for the moment, safe…but that does not stop them from trying. This squirrel is already, by the look of it, getting plenty to eat, so it can just leave my seed for the birds, thank you very much. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

One little Chipmunk on a Mission!

I spent an hour or more watching one little Chipmunk haul away my scatter of sunflower seeds in front of my new bird / photo blind, two packed cheek pouches at a time. She lives under the shed two backyards over from us, and made a dozen trips across the yards to load up on seeds. Watching her skitter through the leaf litter was a real treat. When she stood tall to scope out the situation on each trip, you could see the reason for her urgency…she was obviously nursing at least 6 pups. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Coy Chipmunk…

Chipmunks are, almost by definition, coy. They have that strange mixture of boldness and timidity…bold to certain point, and then instantly timid, that makes them worth paying attention to whenever you see one. This one was near the beginning of the Kennebunk Land Trust Mousam River Sanctuary trail here in Kennebunk. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Praying Chipmunk

There is not much moving in Maine’s forests during March other than chipmunks. I did see my first Red Squirrel two days ago, but not nearly close enough for a photo. This chipper appears to be praying at a mossy alter in the March sun, at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms, in Wells, Maine. And well it might be, and well we should join it in prayer in these days of spreading Covid-19. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Chipper in the March sunshine

A Chipmunk on the boardwalk through the Maple Swamp at Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve), in Wells, Maine. The chippers are just beginning to be seen out most days here in Southern Maine. This one held this pose for at least a full minute as I took photos. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.