Tag Archives: Squirrels

My New Neighbor

I’ve got a new neighbor… a little albino squirrel has taken up residence in the hollow of the tree outside my bedroom window!

I noticed him during our last snowfall a few days ago.  Because it was snowing so hard outside I thought he was a regular squirrel covered with snow at first, but then I realized he was albino!  I’ve been having a wonderful time watching him scamper about the tree.  He’s a nervous little thing though, always on the move, so getting any decent photographs of him has been a bit of a challenge.

But here is one I managed to capture one evening as he paused briefly on one of  the branches…

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I’m going to name him Frosty.  ♥  Frosty the snow squirrel.  😀

This shot has a bunch of messy of branches in the way (makes for pretty good camouflage), but it shows his little pink eye looking at me…

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His color is more of a pale grey than white, especially in the lighting of these photos, but I would still consider him albino.

Here is one I caught of him peeking out of the hollow at me.  

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He’s so cute with his little paw up to his chest.

I snapped this one while he was washing up a bit, but he looks like he’s covering his face, so just for fun I captioned it and I think I’m going to send it to my friend who hates winter..

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She follows my blog, so she may see this before I send it to her.  If so… this one is for you Sharon!  Hang in there my friend!  😀

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Personally, I’m still enjoying winter for the time being, but come see me around the end of February and I’m sure I’ll be quite weary of it with a serious case of spring fever by then.   😉

I’m also still taking lots of pictures of the frost on my windows, I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of those with you in the near future.  It’s just so very lovely, and one must always be on the lookout for the beauty to be found each day…

Peace & Love…

The Babies Are Back

The baby squirrels that I shared about this past June in “Amidst My Branches” have come home for the winter!  ♥  Of course, I’m not absolutely certain they’re the same exact squirrels I watched grow up in my tree this past spring, but I’d like to think that they are.

I’ve been having so much fun watching them scamper around on the branches of my tree over the past couple of weeks.  They’re so darn cute gathering up leaves in their tiny little paws, stuffing them into their mouths, and then carrying them off to their hole.  In addition to the hole, they have also fashioned two other nests amidst my tree’s highest branches, it’s a regular treetop apartment complex going on out there.   😉

They’ve been pretty hard to catch though as far as taking any photos of them goes, squirrels preparing for winter is a hasty business, but I have managed to capture a few…

This one is my favorite!

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I took the screen off and hung out of my window to get this one.  Hence the somewhat odd angle…

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This was so cute to watch ~ he would go inside through the front that was carved out and grab a pawful of pumpkin, and then hop up on top and quickly nibble away at it.  Freaking adorable!  ♥

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But seriously, they’re barely sitting still long enough for me to catch a picture.  I can’t even tell you how many shots I took that look like this one…

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There really was a squirrel paused here on this branch just moments before, I swear.  I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.   😉

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Peace & love…

A Rare Visitor

When I woke up this morning and opened my shades, this is what I saw outside my bedroom window…

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An albino squirrel!!!

I wasn’t quite awake yet and it was such a surprise to see it there, that I wasn’t sure it was real at first.   If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time you know that I already frequently find squirrels amidst my branches, but never an albino one!  I’m so glad I had my camera sitting right there so I could snap a couple photos of it.

I guess it found my tree a nice place to stop for a quick grooming…

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And for staying low and being on the lookout…

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I wish I could’ve got a better shot of its face (and pink eyes), but it was a fidgety little thing and wasn’t facing my direction most of the time.  I’m lucky to have gotten this somewhat blurry shot as it paused for only a second, and still being half asleep this was the best I could do…

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 I’ve only seen an albino squirrel one other time in my life that I can remember, and I felt so privileged to have this rare little creature visit my tree.  ♥

I may go and read up a bit on them, as I think they’re quite uncommon.  Have you ever seen one?

Amidst My Branches

Amidst my branches is protection, a shelter from the storm

 beneath them a shady place to rest, for when you’re feeling worn.

In them you can hide, if ever danger happens by

safe and secure they’ll keep you, lifted up on high.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013

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If you look really closely you can just make out the little squirrel that was peering down at me from this tree, along with only the tail of one of its siblings as they were scurrying around on the branches.

The baby squirrels that I mentioned in my post “To Garden, or to Blog About Garden: That is the Question…”  that I saw being carried by their mother into the hollow of my tree, have been an absolute delight to me this spring!  I love little creatures of all sorts and watching these baby squirrels frolicking right outside my bedroom window was such a wonderful experience for me.  They were beyond cute, they were downright adorable!

On several different occasions I tried to photograph them, and early on I was able to catch some, but once they ventured out and left the safety of their hole, they were quick little scamps, so it was quite a challenge to capture any decent shots of them.  Anyway, here are a few of my favorites…

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This is one of the earliest pictures I got.  For the longest time there was always just one of them looking out at me…

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But eventually…

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I was so excited when I finally saw two of them poking out at the same time.  I was freaking out and shouting to my mom and my daughter “little double heads!”  Haha, yeah it doesn’t take much…  😉

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I wish the quality of this one had turned out better, but it’s still one of my favorites because I love their pose.  ♥

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Gradually they began to venture out…

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And up…

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They were so cautious at first, clinging closely to the bark for dear life…

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But before long they became more and more brave and were soon doing all sorts of interesting (if not frightening) acrobatics.  I was afraid for them a few times and even worried that they might fall, but thankfully they never did.

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There were four of them in all and each had its own little personality.  There were two of them who were the most adventurous ~ Gray Guy and Brown Face.  Hah I know, I’m so unimaginative with what I named them.   😉

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Other than the photo above, it was really hard to catch a picture with more than only one of them in the shot at a time except for when they were in their hole, so I was pleased to capture this one.  Upstairs and downstairs…

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The other two babies were at the very top of the tree, but unfortunately from my vantage point at the window I couldn’t get all four of them in.

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They knew I was watching them and almost always had at least one of their eyes on me as they were going about their exploring…

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I wonder what they thought of me.  Probably that I was some strange cyborg creature with a camera stuck to the front of my face.  😉

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“I spy with my little eye” something gray.  Click, caught ya!

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Peek-a-boo Timid Little One, I see you too…

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It’s hard to tell just how tiny these little guys really were from the pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  Gosh, it was fun watching them, and  I miss them now that they’re gone.  😦   The photo at the beginning with the poem was the last I saw of them.  But I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to watch this precious little family of squirrels Amidst My Branches.  ♥

Of course, with regard for my garden… I don’t miss them that much and I’m hoping I never see them again.  Just kidding.  Kinda.   😉

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Sometimes You Just Have to Wing It

Sometimes when you want to feed the birds, you just have to “wing it.”

Remember this perfectly innocent looking suet feeder that I mentioned buying in my post “Garden Center Therapy,” and how I wanted to try to figure out a way to hang it in the tree outside my 2nd story bedroom window?

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 Well, this is how doing that all went down…

Or went up, to be more precise.  Although, I suppose it also did go down.  Oh never mind, here’s what happened…

First I had to enlist the assistance and expertise of my trusty associate and partner in crime, my big sister.  She’s good at figuring stuff like this out because she’s super duper smart and has a massive and ginormous sized brain.  🙂

After she got off work we ran some regular errands and then stopped at The Home Depot to pick up a few materials to help us concoct some sort of MacGyver type of contraption that would enable me to hang my suet feeder in the tree outside my bedroom window without having to use a ladder.

Not only am I not a huge fan of ladders in general, but my dad’s ladder is hidden within the far reaches of the garage and will be inaccessible for quite some time.  And I want to put my feeder up now.  Also, going forward I want to be able to do it from my window and not have to get on a ladder every time I need to refill the feeder.

As far as accessing the feeder once it’s in place, I figured all I would really need is a pole with a hook on the end of it that would be long enough to reach it with.  My sis was thinking about some sort of extendable type of pole, but those felt way too heavy for me with my weak girlie hands, I would need something of much lighter weight.  Well, because I’m in gardening mode right now, what came to mind were those plastic green garden stakes that you can get to prop up plants with.  We found a 6 foot one, screwed a hook onto one end of it, and voila!

So on that part I was good to go.  But how to figure out going about putting something onto the tree for the feeder to hang from without the use of a ladder… now that was an entirely different matter.   After way too much brain pained deliberation (relieving you here from having to read all the gory details of how mine and my sis’ brains formulate solutions), we ended up leaving the store with just some coated wire and a hook/eye turnbuckle thingy.   As to how we would actually use those two things and go about rigging something up on the tree from my window… we figured we’d just wing it.

When we got to the house and contemplated a bit further, I got to thinking that maybe we could just tie the eye end of the turnbuckle to the wire and then toss it out the window and try and get it over the branch, then grab it with my pole/hook thingy and somehow try to tie it off.  Easier said than done.  Trying to tie a knot that is 6 feet away while using a skinny pole with a small hook on the end of it is a lot harder to do than you’d think it would be.  And it didn’t help that the turnbuckle thingy kept spinning about.  But apparently, even though I may not have much strength in these girlie hands of mine, I clearly possess some finesse in my maneuvering abilities with them because I did it!

My sister took this photo of me with her phone while I was working my magic at knot tying from 6 feet away.  You may not be able to see it very well, but the other end of the wire is tied off to the handle on the inside of the window.  Earlier, my sis was holding that other end of the wire and we looked like a couple of puppeteers working at it together hah!  But we really make an excellent team.

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and here’s a closer look…

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Then it was time to test and see if my skills extended to the ability of being able to hang the actual feeder onto my newly installed contraption.

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Oops, crash!

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So down I went to fetch it.

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I decided maybe it would be easier to hang if the feeder was a bit heavier, so that as I unhooked my pole, the weight of the feeder would help it drop down and catch onto the hook of the turnbuckle thingy.  So I put a suet cake inside and made another attempt.  And heavier it was.  I was actually really surprised at just how much heavier, I needed to use both of my weak girlie hands.  My sis snapped this shortly after my triumphant victory…

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And almost immediately after that triumphant victory, I noticed something and grabbed my camera…

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My little squirrel peeking out from his hole!  Omygosh look how cuuuute!!!

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I wonder if he was watching us the whole time?  I don’t know how squirrels minds work, but he had to have thought “What in the world are these two crazy humans doing?!”  Either that or he was thinking “Yay, dinner!”  Hah!  I know he’s eyeballing that new feeder, and I may just end up rigging up some type of feeder for him too.  Hey, it will help keep him away from my garden then, right?  😉

Well, here it is all ready for the little birdies to come and feast upon…

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After all is said and done here, I would like to mention that if you ever find yourself watching odd or interesting types of competitions on TV where people are doing things that seem like they should be perfectly easy to do, have mercy, because it just may not be as easy as it looks.  The concept that I had for all of this seemed like it would be easy enough, but it ended up being quite challenging.  I did have a lot of fun doing it though, mostly because I was with my sis.  ♥  Incidentally, that evening I had Chinese take-out for dinner and my fortune cookie read:  “You will show what you are capable of.”  Haha guess I’m capable of winging it!  Well, along with the help and assistance of my trusty associate, of course.  😉

Since putting it up, I haven’t noticed any of my little feathered friends dining at my new feeder yet.  But I’m sure I will eventually, as I have quite a few that frequent my branches from time to time.

Like Chickadees…

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Sparrows…

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And Cardinals…

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Although, Cardinals don’t typically eat from suet type feeders, so I don’t expect to see them eating at mine.  But I was really excited to see this bright pretty gal stop by and to catch a photo of her!  Maybe she’ll decide to build her nest among my branches, what an absolute delight that would be!

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Feeling Squirrely

No, it’s not me that’s feeling squirrely, although I have been known to act that way from time to time.  😉

I discovered a new little squirrel friend frolicking in the branches of the tree outside my bedroom window this morning.  And I had a wonderful time watching him and trying to photograph him as he scampered about the branches.

He was being a bit camera shy and elusive at first, when I caught this little “on the look-out” shot of him.  He blends in well with the tree here, and did a pretty good job at trying to be incognito.

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And he also appears to possess first-rate aerobatics skills…

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Here I caught him as he was sitting up on his hind legs with his front ones tucked against his chest.  I like how he has his head tilted a bit off to the side, shyly looking my direction with his one eye.  So sweet.

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But now that I think of it, he sort of looks like he’s begging here.  Well, I’m not falling for his cuteness, and if he sticks around, he darn well better keep his grubby little paws away from my veggies this summer!  I certainly don’t want a repeat of my “Adventures in Gardening Part 21 ~ That Thieving Squirrel: The Epic Battle Continues…”

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This is my favorite one that I took of him, snapped just before he scurried away.

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Although my little visitor this morning wasn’t agitated like the squirrel in this video, this was the sound he was making while I was photographing him, so I’m thinking he must really dislike his picture being taken.  Or maybe he was just feeling squirrely…  😉

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Among My Branches

In the mornings I like to sit and look out the windows of my room while drinking my coffee.  I have a huge Sycamore tree right outside that my Grandpa planted way back in the 1940’s, and its branches basically cover the span of all three of my bedroom windows.  It’s an odd shaped, but interesting looking tree, they are not commonly grown here in Minnesota so I feel special to have one.  The branches are barren right now in the winter, well except for when they are  covered with snow, 😉 but when I moved back home here this past fall its branches were filled with gigantic leaves that filtered the light in through my windows so beautifully.

Aside from the tree itself, one of the other things I really enjoy about it is watching the little creatures that sometimes occupy its branches.  Two of my favorite species of birds, the Cardinal and the Chickadee often come to visit and it’s always such a delight to watch them flit about.  I wish they’d sit still long enough for me to snap a picture of them, but they are busy little things and always on a mission.

However, I did manage to catch this shot of a huge crow cawing the other day…CrowSeriously, the size of this thing was massive!

Crows are not a favorite bird of mine, but they are really cool and also quite intelligent.  My daughter says she is going to try “befriending” one this summer, but not if I have anything to say about that, I don’t need crows coming around bothering my vegetable garden this summer.  I had enough trouble with squirrels!

And speaking of squirrels, those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember some of the trouble I had with a certain particular squirrel, an evil, diabolical, and thieving little creature who really gave me a hard time in my garden.  First it was just digging holes in “Adventures in Gardening Part 11 ~ Darn Squirrels!”  and then once harvest time came it got downright ugly in “Adventures in Gardening Part 31 ~ That Thieving Squirrel: the Epic Battle Continues…”

I recommend reading both of those posts to give you some background on what I’m going to say next here because the funny thing is…  I grew to become quite fond of that naughty little squirrel.  Seems impossible, I know, after joking around about ways in which to dispose of the little thief and sharing about my recurring nightmares about squirrels, but once I put my garden to bed for the winter, and began spending my mornings in front of my bedroom windows with my coffee, I became fondly attached to him in watching him prepare his home for the winter in the trunk of my tree.  Scurrying among the branches, gathering those giant Sycamore leaves in his tiny little paws, and rushing off to stuff them into his hole = sooo cute!  Those grubby, thieving, little paws that once made me so angry became so adorable and so much fun to watch.  You know, I really do love all little creatures, even the ones that make me mad.

Well, the other day, the day that I caught that photo of the crow, I think my squirrel got run over by a car.  😦  I can’t be for sure that it was him, but for days and days now while I’ve been sitting in front of my windows having my morning coffee, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him.  I joked around about wishing he’d get run over back when he was stealing my vegetables, but now I am so sad at the thought of it.  RIP “Little Thief” (as he has now has been named), I will miss your cute little antics.  Well, not your vegetable stealing ones, of course.  😉

So now, after many days since Little Thief’s untimely death, I think someone new is considering moving in because look what I just saw…DSCF0210bMr. Opportunity, no doubt.  And that is as he shall now be named.

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He’s not as cute as Little Thief (not that I can really tell the difference ;)) and I have resolved that I will not become attached to him, other than for practicing my photography skills on him as he dwells among my branches.DSCF0216bAnd I must say, I am quite proud of this shot.  😀

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