This is a squirrel in our backyard. Though, if you asked him, I’m sure it would be referred to as his backyard.
We have watched him flit around our deck, trees and lawn for almost a year now. We named him Mojo somewhere along the way as we have seen him learning how to be a squirrel. As he’s grown, boldness has emerged as a defining characteristic. A couple of weeks ago, he leaped on top of the barbecue railing and watched us for a while. He didn’t mind having his picture taken through the window – either he’s gotten used to it or he has become more than a little vain.
Creatures in our forest are readying for winter right now. This squirrel, one of our long-time neighbours, was out collecting warm material to line her home with when she found one of our strings of Buddhist Lung ta prayer flags (Tibetan:རླུང་རྟ་; Mandarin Chinese:風馬 – Feng ma; meaning “Wind horse”). I found her while she was well into separating one of the flags. I really can’t take much issue with this resourceful little creature so I think we will have to buy some more flags to replace these.
Canon 5D III + 300mm f/4 lens: 1/200 seconds at f/4 on ISO 800
This squirrel has been a resident in the trees behind our house for five years. He’s feisty and acts like the backyard, our deck and everywhere else he travels is under his dominion. In this encounter I had my feet up on the railing and he squared off staring at me. It became pretty clear that he was impatiently waiting for me to put my feet down so he could pass. I obliged, but snapped off a couple of frames before removing the barricade. He chirped as he ran by and kept up the chatter as he climbed up a tree. I thought a simple thank you would have sufficed!
With the temperature rocketing up to 23°C on Sunday, everything seemed lively throughout the day. The animals in my backyard were no exception and they were rather frisky while I photographed around my deck. The squirrel who has lived near us for five years was chirping away like he’d never seen us before. That was fun and I like this image of him poling out amongst the branches.
One of the chipmunks came down from the rocks looking for a snack. The blue jays were slow to arrive for their peanuts on the deck and this fellow wasted no time scooping up one near the edge.
After a short retreat to a scrap pile beside the fire pit, the shell was cracked and the feast was on. I’m really enjoying photographing the animals around my house at this point in the early spring. The drives into the mountains and out onto the prairies are fantastic but it’s nice to have the backyard as another great option that is so close at hand.
This squirrel has lived in the woodpile beside our garage for more than three years. I used to think that he poached the bird seed for the woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches that stay near year round that we put out. Now I just put out extra for this little fellow. This afternoon I was throwing peanuts out on the deck and he showed up right after I whistled to the bluejays to let them know their snack was served. In this photograph the squirrel had carried one of the peanuts up to a low branch while a jay above set some snow loose when it jumped off its perch.