First published: 13-Jan-2012
I have a long weekend and eventhough I have lots of DIY to do, I couldn’t resist going to the forest today to see the squirrels. Yesterday I filled up the feeder, but decided today to move it a bit further along. I wanted a change of scenery. Just before Christmas a big tractor/bulldozer went right through the area where I have been photographing the squirrels for a few years. Initially I was a bit shocked, thinking they might start to destruct the place to build something, but I had a look around and I believe this machine had to take care of a fallen tree further in the forest. Hopefully that’s the end of it.
Wide and muddy caterpillar tracks where I used to sit on the forest floor. So I moved a bit further along (only 15-20 meters or so). I actually went back to the place where I started a couple of years ago. I had a good spot there but then the snow came and the tree that I was sitting under (not at the time thankfully) came down and it was a mess of tree trunks and branches.
Well, unexpectedly the bulldozer did some good work here, because it went right through this bit as well and now it is a great playground for squirrels (and this photographer of course). The fallen trees now hav lots of green moss and there are many photogenic branches that will look perfect with a squirrel posing on them. So I put up the feeder there, got ready… and then realised I had taken just the two batteries that were almost empty. I didn’t fancy going back home to get them, so thought I would just make the most of it. It’s like using film, you think much harder before you press the shutter. Actually quite nice for a change.
Anyway, after my second cup of coffee a squirrel turned up. It was a female with no distinctive features. I didn't recognise her but she wasn't scared at all and stole some nuts from the bag. Later on Chunky, the male turned up as well. The hazelnuts told them exactly which branches to sit on and as usual they were very oblighing, but sun was almost gone from this area by the time they showed up. So the couple of photos I took are not great quality. I don’t think I got more light than 1/125. The days are getting a bit longer, but the sun is still so low. In a few weeks time it will be much better.
An Invernesian would say: great pho’o opportuni’ies’