Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Squirrely.... in the best way!

Funny things sometimes happen when you least expect them.  The other day I was walking my dog and I spotted something before she did (thank goodness!) and was able to redirect her attention so she didn't know what she missed.  Amazing that I was even able to do that, since she's a Border Collie and really doesn't miss very much.  When I researched that breed before adopted her, the best advice I found was "if you bring a Border Collie into your life, get used to being stared at all of the time" and by golly - that is absolute truth!

What I saw was this:
At some level I was well aware that baby squirrels existed, but I had never actually seen one.  Typically, I consider them vermin... but my normal reaction was overturned by this little critter.  This is not a zoom shot - the baby squirrel seemed pretty fearless - I sat down on the grass and quietly waited for a few minutes and as it got closer, I started snapping pictures.  The sound of the "click" didn't startle it, which really surprised me.  So I kept clicking away... and imagine my delight when a sibling appeared in camera range!  They crawled all over each other, not really playing, just doing the littermate thing of "whatever you have must be better, but I simply must find out what it is and take it from you if I can" that seems to be common in every litter of baby critters that I've ever encountered.  Fun to watch, and even better that the new baby didn't mind the camera either, so I got this shot too:
What big feet they have!
I didn't bring out any treats for them, since I had no idea I could get this close, so I just watched them play and wrestle.  After a few more minutes, I reached out with a finger to touch the first one on the back - carefully avoiding their faces - since I didn't want to risk a bite.  It jumped straight up into the air, evidently some kind of startle reflex, but didn't seem upset in the least, and made no attempt to strike or bite.  So I stroked their soft fur and thoroughly enjoyed watching them and spent a few more minutes sitting there on the grass with my new little friends. 

They kept wandering closer and one of them put a tiny paw up on the leg of my jeans.  Since I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, I offered my forearm, and it clambered up onto my arm, and then onto my knee.  The other baby accepted the same offer and curled up next to the first one.  They promptly fell asleep there, in a small, furry heap on my knee.  I cupped a hand around each side to keep them from tumbling off (hence no pictures of that wonderful moment - sigh!) and watched them sleep peacefully for a few more minutes.  When they awoke, I lifted them off, and set them back on the grass.

I saw them once more that day, but then I didn't see them again for a few days.  I hoped that they were all right - and then I saw one again today,  About halfway up the tree - looking serenely down at me, as though it remembered our moment together, but it is still a wild creature, and it skittered back up the tree. 

It made me happy...


  1. I'm one who has lately thought of the squirrels as real nuisances due to the effects they're having on my birdfeeders, but these guys are so cute! I would have loved to have had a chance to give them a little pat...just imagining them curled up on your knee asleep -- adorable!

  2. It was a truly amazing moment. They are a nuisance as adults but the babies sure were cuties!