Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Squirrel, interrupted

The other day, I was sitting on the couch in our family room, doing nothing in particular, when I noticed a squirrel climbing a young maple tree in our next-door neighbor's backyard. This tree is sort of a bane to us for two reasons: for one thing, it was planted much too close to our shared garden wall, which could be a big problem if and when the tree reaches maturity, and for another, it affects our mountain view, which might seem petty but it's something we really like about our house. The tree is not healthy, so we're hopeful for its demise in the near future.

Anyway, I was looking out the window in that direction and saw an intriguing series of events involving the squirrel. It went on for several minutes and it was seriously dramatic. Okay, so it's true that I don't get out much, but I was amused by this debacle. The photos aren't great; there is window glare, and I didn't have time to change my camera lens from the fixed focal-length one I had been using, so I've had to crop my photos to give a better view, but they tell an interesting tale of squirrelly woe.
 

The squirrel had gone charging up the tree in pursuit of a cluster of seed pods at the very tip of one of the spindly branches. Unfortunately, the branch was too small to support the squirrel's weight and began to bend. The squirrel wrapped himself in a ball around the end of the branch and hung on for dear life as it swayed under his weight. Meanwhile, a scrub jay has paused lower down the same branch; he watches the squirrel's plight.


Our squirrel friend spent a minute or so twisting and turning on the tip of the branch, until finally he was able to grab it between his front paws and straighten his body lengthwise. The jay has moved higher on the branch now, presumably to get a closer look.


The branch is really rocking now, so much that the jay flies away. The squirrel is trying to shimmy backward up the branch but it isn't going very well. He's scrambling to keep hold of the branch and actually starts looking panicked.


The squirrel finally gets a better grip on the branch, using both his front and back legs to slide along. See his back foot sticking out? I saw him curl his toes around the branch like a little monkey at one point. I didn't realize squirrels could do that. Oh, and look - our jay friend has returned! I guess this show was too good to miss.


Finally! The squirrel has reached a more stable part of the branch and he rests a moment, probably waiting for his life to stop flashing before his poor little eyes. Notice the maple seeds still attached to the end of the branch; I don't think he managed to procure any for himself, let alone that nosy-body jay.


"Phew! You know what? The hell with this. I'll just eat all that delicious birdseed Mrs. H. and her kids put out instead! Sweet, tasty, non-life-threatening birdseed. Mmm-mmm!"

35 comments:

  1. Jennifer, your post certainly made me smile today.

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  2. oh that's funny! lovely, delightful! that squirrel and bird! well done getting any pictures of this!!

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  3. Funny! You would think he would know better.

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  4. What a delightful picture story and your descriptions are just perfect. That really put a smile on my face. :)

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  5. Too funny. My dog Rocky hound would be over the moon to see a squirrel in such a predicament. One of his lifetime ambitions is to catch a squirrel. xx

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  6. Oh love this! Remind me to plant trees and shrubs with very springy branches :)))

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  7. Poor little squirrel! I'm impressed by your photographic skills - I wouldn't have managed a single in focus shot and you have a whole series. I just love your mountain view. xx

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  8. What a great show the squirrel put on for you - and ultimately for us too! Thanks Mr. Squirrel! :oD

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  9. Oh Jennifer, that's priceless. Well captured, good that you had your camera to hand. The second photo is fantastic, I swear I can see the whites of his eyes. And that dear little foot flailing through the air. Brilliant. Love the backdrop of the mountain as well. What a beautiful spot you live in. CJ xx

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  10. I am so happy for you and for all of your readers that you got to see this great show - truly it would be more fun than anything on TV, in my book at least -- even the still pictures of it! I don't have squirrels but I have started watching the birds and that kind of drama is just what I like. Thank you!!

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  11. This is hilarious! It would make a great children's book (the photos AND the story).

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  12. Awesome post! Glad you had your camera handy. I've had a few squirrel incidents in my yard too - we have a big pine tree out front that attracts them.

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  13. Ha! That is really funny. Thanks for sharing your funny view today.

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  14. so funny! we used to live in a house with a deck high up in the trees, and would spend hours watching what we called "squirrel tv!"

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  15. Well, you may not get out much, but I love your view of the world, Jennifer :) Thanks for posting! xx

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  16. Well, you may not get out much, but I love your view of the world, Jennifer :) Thanks for posting! xx

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  17. This is so funny Jennifer! I used to wonder how the birds in our garden ate their treats so fast until I caught a pesky squirrel devouring them one day! They are so cheeky and amusing to watch.
    Helen xox

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  18. Squirrels are such entertaining creatures, aren't they. I think the jay thinks so too.

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  19. I love watching squirrels when we are overseas, and this is quite the amazing scene. Well done for capturing it with your camera Jennifer. Poor little squirrel, I'll bet he kept quiet for the next few days.

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  20. Awwww, poor little guy! Glad he made it safely back to thicker branches. Thanks for a fun start to my day!

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  21. A lovely little moment blogged and shared for us all to remember. Hope you are well this well Jen. Jo x

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  22. This cracked me up! I see similar squirrel antics out our patio doors. I think squirrels are like cats in that they seem to have at least 9 lives. :-)

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  23. Oh my goodness! What a dramatic sequence, thank you for capturing it on camera and sharing it. I am so glad he didn't fall to his death!! X

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  24. What a funny series of photos! You did well to catch them. I enjoyed watching that squirrel and Jay immensely! And your story was fun.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  25. How funny! Your squirrel reminds me of the crazy one in the Ice Age movies. x

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  26. Hi Jennifer,

    Well done for quick thinking and taking pictures! What a great thing to share! Certainly made me laugh!

    Hope you are doing well,
    Love,
    Ingrid xx
    Myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  27. Hey Jennifer,
    It's amazing what you see when staring out from your couch at nothing in particular. I'm so glad that you were able to capture it all. I was rooting for the squirrel, and laughing at the jay.
    Leanne xx

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  28. Oh how wonderful to see a squirrel!! Poor thing really must have had a fright and your whole description sure gave me a bit of fun in my day here ♥

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  29. Squirrels are such determined creatures. Thanks for sharing this one's antics :-)

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  30. Brilliant story and photos. Really enjoyed this post!

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  31. This was really funny. You took some good photos! Thank you for the random joy, moments like these must definitely be shared. Xx

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  32. Thank you for your very good site….
    _______
    Fashions

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  33. That is better than any television show there is.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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