Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Yes, appreciate those rodents, all 280 different species of them. Appreciate their bushy tails, large eyes, cute smiles, quick tree-climbing ability. Appreciate the joy a squirrel brings to our local public parks and many gardens. Sometimes, they act as pest control agents at no charge, devouring insects. They can also tackle waste, by grabbing small food scraps left by stupid humans. They eat mushrooms, resulting in their waste from digestion resulting in new, much needed spores that help the ecosystem. They are also cute, and inspire resourcefulness and quite clever. Here is one in action…

But perhaps, the best reason to appreciate is their nut-burying behavior. They bury nuts, then often forget (or do they?!). The results are many more trees grown from those seeds within, which helps the world of humans in many ways.

So appreciate the squirrels of the world, give back and spread cheer to the little critters. Feed some natural nuts or seeds, if you can spare (avoid processed food). If you have a yard or a porch, add a squirrel feeder. Also, place a small tub of clean water nearby. And overall, let the squirrels be their natural, adorable selves.

– Orion T

The above pictures were taken deepen with Stanley Park, Vancouver BC, Canada. You are likely to cross path with some scavenging squirrels on Squirrel Trail, and Beaver Lake. You might even find some rare red or black ones.

See the Black Squirrel…

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Here above is a squirrel in black, for which I have not seen this pigment until my recent visit to Vancouver. I watched them, and perhaps they watched me.

Their behavior differed a bit from the normal gray city squirrels of the Pacific Northwest US, of which I have seen around the University of Washington campus. The black squirrels seem shy to the cameras, and seemingly a bit faster and slightly smaller.

I learned through local folk and the googling, much about these squirrel mutagenic variants. Such are uncommon to see unless in some collective habitat (Midwestern and some Mideastern US, Eastern Canada), parts of the UK). However, I came across a gathering of many scuttling about through the center of Stanley Park, in Vancouver, Canada. Such are offshoots of the common gray and fox squirrels, leading to the darker gray to the very black. They can endure the cold weather better, and blend in with the dark. I heard these are not originally native to the Vancouver area but brought over some decades ago (possibly in 1914 according to one Wikipedia source), but I have yet to find the exact info.

Here is another one, living the simple life…

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and a short bonus video of more, recently put upon my Instagram (travelingorion, follow me there!).

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#squirrels #squirrelsofinstagram #citynature @reside.outside

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I love squirrels 🙂

– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external use for public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

Picture of Today 4/6/16, Squirrel!

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A little friend in the park, who knows things and sees things.

We shared much in common, very busy with much to hide. We know many ways to the same destination but prefer the long way around very often. We enjoy big bags of trail mix, and take time to enjoy the calling sunlight. We pretend to be simple, though it can be easier said than done.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 3/25/16, Big Squirrel on Campus

 

Today, at the University of Washington in Seattle, I took time out to admire the cherry blossom trees within.

And so did many others, including Sam Squirrel. Before the bushy-tailed agent of N.U.T.S scurried about on some mysterious mission, there was time to ponder the changing of Spring since the days of barely a week ago. There seemed more rain than last year, and the air a bit colder. The blossoms seemed somewhat thinner, and the trunks with more moss. What could it all mean? Perhaps nothing, Sam ruminated. The sight of it all must simply be enjoyed for as long as the peace shall last. 

Orion T

Pictures of Today 6/19/15, Little Park Friends

I love birds, as I am considering a new hobby in ornithology.

This moment is my third time seeing the white-capped sparrow on the same tree in Denny Park, in Seattle. You may see them upon the center trees there, singing often, then fluttering away quickly when noticed. This time I sneaked a pic with some evening sunlight, for awesome effect.

Also in the same park, but during the morning on the way to work.. I noticed my ol friend, Sam Squirrel; hidden beneath, probably on some important mission. Good Luck Sam!!

 

Orion T

Pictures of Today 5/28/15, Secret Life of a Squirrel

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For the moment, Sam Squirrel was carefree, and cracking yet another shell. Inside, another nut to enjoy.

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Sam would take time, processing the meaning of life in every bite. This was a good reward for all the leaping and dashing Sam was born to do.

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But wait..Squirrel Sense is tingling!!

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Time for this Secret Agent Ninja Squirrel to take cover.. Danger is sensed, or another nut…both are equally exciting and impossible to tell apart.

– Orion T