Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Cute Little Red Squirrel

Well, here she is! It's a cute little red squirrel. This is the animal that was hiding from all of us yesterday. Red squirrels are the cutest tree squirrels of all where I live. They are also the smallest. This one was particularly small, even for a red squirrel. I thought at first that she might have been only a child, but I found out later that she was indeed an adult.

She was laying under the bench right beside the trail that leads to the nature center of this park. It has a lot of human traffic that she didn't mind one bit. She came right up to me more than a few times, begging for food. I don't carry animal food with me, but many other people do. She had plenty.

She had the perfect spot that day. She could watch everything that happened, while still having a convenient escape route into the trees. And the bench provided plenty of shade for this cute little critter. So even though I've already revealed her location, let me give you some better details about it.

She was right under the bench, on the right side, next to the bench leg. I guess this game must have been a little too hard this time because nobody found her, even though a few of you were very close. Some of you even guessed that it would be a squirrel. But finding her was more important.

I didn't want the game to be as hard as it was, but if I would have shown a better picture the game would have been too easy. And too easy is a lot less fun than too hard. So I guess this is the way it had to be. Just so you know, I marked the spot where she is hiding with a red rectangle. You can expand the picture above to see her a little more clearly.

Okay, here's a better look at her from where she was hiding in the picture from yesterday. She moved a little bit from her stretched out position in front of the bench leg, but this is the general location. You can see that if she needed to get away for some reason that she could turn and run into the bushes. No grubby little kid can grab her up. And believe me, they wanted to.

She's still there protecting her pole. Whenever she would move away from it, she would go right back. I guess this was just a very good spot to beg for food from. And she got plenty. This old man told me he'd seen her there before. Then he threw two handsfull of seeds on the ground near her.

I actually left to visit the nature center, and a few other things. And when I came back, she was still right there hiding under her bench. I guess she knows exactly where to be to get the food. It was fun watching her eat those seeds, but I don't make it a practice to give food to park animals. You should only feed animals if you can consistently do it.

Get ready, here comes the best part.

And there she goes! Those of you who know cats very well can see that this pose looks more catlike than squirrely. I wonder why she would pose like a cat. Is this squirrel stalking prey? Why would she have to stalk seeds? Do seeds have a habit of running from squirrels? No seeds that I've ever seen run when squirrels try to eat them. But then why does she seem like the apex predator in this last picture? And why do I call this squirrel she? How do I seem to know so much about her?

Don't worry. Even though this post is coming to an end, questions will be answered, problems will be solved.

So tune in tomorrow. The story of this little cat squirrel will be continued...

Nature Center Magazine - Today is the day that Emma chooses anothe Nature Site Of The Week. None of you will want to miss this one, because her chosen site is one that most of you know and love. And if you don't know and love it then you need to go and find out, because this one will soon become one of your favorites.


  1. Aww.. this one's a sneaky squirrel.. it camouflaged so well behind that bench leg's shadow. No wonder I missed it when I scoured that area twice. hehe.. Still it was a great fun packed game Ratty.. ^__^ Too bad no one got it right.

    That final pic's pose is quite strange. I bet it adores a Felis domestica in the neighborhood and tried imitating as one. =D But that's just so cute. =D Perhaps it was stalking a moving bug than a motionless seed.

  2. Never would have found it!


  3. So cute and I totally would have missed it. you have a very good eye for wildlife.

  4. My guess was totally wrong.:) She is a cute squirrel....much cuter than the Grey ones here in the South.

  5. Well I tell you partner, that was a hard one to find.Great cliffhanger.

  6. ok...so I couldn't have been more wrong...maybe next time..lol

  7. I am glad that no one managed to find it even though one of us tried very hard to peep from the back of the monitor screen.

    I think I can find in the future if the answer is an elephant.

  8. You mean that red squirrel used to be a pole-dancer? Amazing! :D
    Your camera are great Ratty, love the zoom feature.

  9. Your pictures are just getting better and better all the time. She's a cute one that's for sure. I was all over that picture and couldn't spot her, glad I wasn't the only one.

  10. Well, I had the "under the bench" part right. Do I get half a point??

  11. Awwwww.....I love red squirrels! Such great photos. They sure are loud and chatty though...they will tell you off rather then run away most times.

  12. Never would have found it in a million years! I must admit, I'm not usually a fan of squirrels, but that one is very cute :-)

  13. When I said it was me, that actually wasn't too far off the mark because some humans have said that I look like a red squirrel! I will definitely want to hear more about her.

  14. In modern Greek, the word for squirrel (ververa) is feminine, so Greeks always refer to squirrels as "she". On the other hand, the ancient word for squirrel, skiouros (from skia, shadow, and oura, tail), from which we get our word, is masculine. Go figure. Obviously, squirrels can be either.

  15. Wow, Ratty, that was pretty good. I never would have seen that. Besides, my head is always in the trees and what a cutie, fantastic photos. Your contests are becoming very challenging which I love.