Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Squirrel!

The village where I work is not that huge, but there are some lovely houses. And around the houses, gardens, and in the gardens, trees.

In one garden is a huge sycamore - bare but for clusters of seeds at the end of thin twigs. I stood and watched half a dozen squirrels hopping about the lawn, diligently digging around in the leaf litter on a wet green lawn for winter snacks.

I could hear the sound of the seeds falling from the trees - and some of these spinning jennies hit me as I stood quietly watching these industrious little rodents. Cute simply by dint of a fluffy tail and their boldness (but otherwise no more than a pretty tree rat).

Enchanted as I was with this family of Sciuridae, I looked up to see the branches silhouetted against a dull grey sky. And saw that the seeds descending upon me were not victims of natural autumn fall, but rejects from more of the family, balanced acrobatically right above my head.  

AFter about five minutes of simply standing watching the squirrels, I decided to move on. A car had pulled up at the side of the road. 'Three squirrels' said one emerging occupant as she looked up at the tree to see what I had been watching. 'Eleven of them'. I added - for that's how many I'd counted on the ground and in the tree.

I may try some photographs tomorrow - they were posing so perfectly. And there's still a few seeds left on the tree.
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