The way this squirrel is hugging the tree makes me think he’s a young one. Usually they are pretty spirited, chasing the larger grey squirrels or holding their ground as we pass them in the woods.
It’s nearly fall and time to get busy collecting food for the approaching winter. This squirrel was taking time out for a quick snack. Under the feeder the ground is littered with spent sunflower seeds. Occasionally though an intact seed falls to the ground for the lucky few.
The area under the feeder was carpeted with empty shells but there must have been a few seeds remaining for the red squirrel to eat. He was sharing the space with a few sparrows also looking for seeds dropped by the bigger birds.
Although this photo was taken in November, the trees were bare and the sky overcast. It looks more like mid winter than late fall. Of all the squirrels in our woods this variety of eastern grey is the most watchful.
We saw more red squirrels last year than usual. They’re feisty, will often stand their ground with people and tend to chase the larger grey squirrels out of their territory. What they lack in size they make up for in temperament. We’ve had a prolonged period of extreme cold lately and you have to marvel at the toughness of these little creatures.
Before the snow arrived in mid-December there were still pine cones and seeds for the taking. Between storing food for the winter ahead, this eastern grey squirrel stopped for a bite. The trees were bare and provided little colour to warm the scene. I liked the way the black and white treatment brought out the detail and texture.
The first photo was taken in the fall and the second barely a month later; the landscape changes rapidly with the seasons. Red squirrels can be found all year long and seem to shadow you in the winter when food is scarce. In the photo below the squirrel found the seeds that someone had left and stayed put as I approached. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I took this photo and then left him to his meal.