Today's Special

By Connections

Out of My Way!

This Douglas squirrel, eager to get the peanut she'd snatched from a neighbor's bird feeder back to the safety of her nest, was not at all intimidated by me and my camera in the back garden!

The camera was my new "pocket" one, an Olympus XZ-1 with a 1.8 - 2.5 Zuiko lens and 4x zoom, to replace the little Panasonic Lumix that crashed in June. I'm delighted to have that fast lens and am looking forward to exploring all the "bells and whistles" on the XZ-1, as it will be very useful when I don't want to take my larger camera.

Back to the squirrel -- she's one of three or four who make their home in the tall cedar tree behind our house and use our back fence as their highway to and from the previously mentioned bird feeder. Found on the west coast of Canada and the United States from British Columbia to northern Baja California, Douglas squirrels are 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) in total length, weigh 1/3 to 2/3 pounds (151 to 303 g), and are great fun to watch.

Here she is in profile, and showing what that fast lens can do, check out the reflection in her eye, cropped in from the previous photo.

One website I found described perfectly what I experienced today with my squirrel star: Go into the woods and, if you have even just a little bit of an eye or an ear for it, you'll spot it running down a tree trunk to come and have a better look at you and engage into some kind of conversation which, to date, I have been unable to unravel but can go on for quite some time, especially if you answer it. Always at least say hello to it; it gives you more time to observe it and see it in action before it disappears as it decides you are not only of no real interest, but actually totally irrelevant.

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