L’écureuil

Occasionally when our family is too lazy to properly remove trash bags from the kitchen to the garage, we’ll toss the bag out on the back deck where it remains until the next trip to the local transfer station. Usually these bags remain unmolested, but as winter draws nigh and food becomes scarce the animals have become a little more audacious. Particularly the squirrels.

A couple days ago I looked outside and noticed several squirrels doing their best to move a bag ten times their size. They neatly picked it apart, and began to retrieve old pieces of bread from it. That’s all they wanted: bread. In an effort to minimize cleanup I threw some old popcorn out to them, but it wasn’t long before they’d sniffed at the yellow clusters and unpopped kernels, shrugged (okay maybe not), and returned to tearing up the garbage.

Later that day the trash was cleaned up and removed, but I’d so enjoyed watching them out there that I went ahead and gathered all the old and unwanted cereal in our cabinets and poured them into a container, from which I have been distributing daily portions onto the deck in hopes of catching them on film. Today I succeeded. I only took a handful of shots (because frankly there are only so many ways to take a picture through a window), but I figured I’d share them.

Planning his next move…
Old Cap’n Crunch seems to be the favorite.
Their paws are rather extraordinary to look at.

Anyhow, I’d about given up on anything more interesting, when the squirrel made its way right up near the sliding glass door. I cautiously moved to the floor to get a close-up, but was dismayed to discover that (likely due to my dog) it wasn’t clean. The couple images I got were too blurred to be worth posting. I shifted over to another, clearer panel, but he’d already worked his way back toward the deck and his back was to me. So I tapped the glass, thinking maybe, just maybe, he’d come back. He didn’t run. He didn’t even stop eating. All he did was throw me a glance over his shoulder.

By far, one of my favorite photos.

Eventually, the squirrel left. A couple more came by, and every so often they’d take a peek inside the house. They’ve been doing this for awhile now, at the back window, the front storm door, and yesterday there were even a few clamoring on the skylight. I’ve yet to get the exact image I’m hoping for, but here’s an example of one of the little guys looking in:

And what with the snow, I’m tempted to open the door.

Anyhow, I’ll post any future photos to Facebook, but I thought perhaps someone out there would get a kick out of these guys. Most people give very little thought to squirrels because they’re ubiquitous, but I never cease to be fascinated by them.

I leave you with this parting image of my dog, who sits really weirdly:

No but really, those hind legs.
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