Going Squirrely

By May 10, 2010

In the big storms of February we got rather fond of one particular squirrel that was so extra eager for food that it would wait just a few steps from us as we came out the kitchen door to put a few sunflower seeds down on the snow. Since this animal seemed somehow daintier, more feminine, than the others, we called that one the "girl squirrel."

In mid-April I noticed tails frisking in the upper branches of the old and much-trimmed white walnut at the back of the house. Then, on April 19, there they were -- several small squirrels -- even smaller and daintier than the "girl squirrel," venturing down the tree to get at the seeds. They would startle and bluff each other, or approach slowly and touch noses, apparently to identify each other.

At one point I thought I counted five babies, but later we could spot only three at any given moment (see below).

Here they are a day or so after making their first public appearance, with mother not far off. Click on photo to enlarge.

Three -- count 'em (above).
Exploring the grass (right).

Easing down the trunk (above).
Retreating to the knothole (right).
Mother squirrel watches and eats.
Babies play and eat.