Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ask and ye shall receive

On my drive in to work this morning, I happened to see a Black Squirrel. Granted, it was in the middle of the opposite lane when I saw it, so it wasn't like I spotted the squirrel up in a tree thanks to my keen powers of observation or something, but it's still a fairly rare sighting in these parts. Because of this, I called my folks after I got to work to share my experience. After saying, "Oh, how cool," my mom naturally asked if I'd gotten a picture of it. I hadn't, mostly because there was nowhere nearby to pull over and I had about 20 minutes to make my 15-minute drive to work. She agreed that despite this it was still a very neat thing to have seen, and we chalked the part where I saw something unusual when it was impossible for me to grab my camera and take a photo of it as simply the way the universe works sometimes.

I was thinking about that squirrel on my way home tonight, though, so when I got to where I'd seen it this morning I glanced over in the direction it had run to avoid becoming road pizza... and saw it sitting underneath a tree in someone's yard. After a brief moment of indecision, I pulled into the parking lot in front of the Arlington Inn (if anyone from there is reading this, thanks for not having me towed or anything!), dashed across Route 7A, and walked back in the direction I'd just come from. When I got to the property in question, there was a very helpfully-placed area between the edge of the property and a small group of trees that the owner was keeping relatively clear. So I eased a few steps off the shoulder, staying close to the bushes at my back, took a good look at the lawn. and saw that I'd be able to say yes to Mom's question after all:

I maneuvered around to try and get a closer shot, the best of which was this image in which it looks like the squirrel is one of Satan's minions:

However, the majority of the photos I took were of the squirrel up in one of the trees, and I honestly believed they were the best I was going to do. Which, all things considered, really wasn't too bad:

I definitely figured my squirrel photography was at an end not too long after I took the above picture—that's when the squirrel decided to climb a bit higher, eventually settling down in some branches that were, of course, pretty much as far from where I was standing as the little beggar could get and still be in the same tree. I tried a few shots, but because of the distance and the light most of them were of a dark shape in the midst of several smaller dark shapes. However, I did get lucky with a couple of silhouettes, and liked how this one particular came out:

Still, me being me I decided to hang around for a while, just in case the squirrel decided to move to a lower branch or to the side of the tree closest to where I stood. Given that the squirrel was in an oak tree, with acorns everywhere for the taking, I knew my chances of this happening before either I lost patience or it got too cold and/or dark to stay weren't the best.

Finally, just when I was about to pack it in I saw the squirrel start working his way closer. It ended up out toward the end of a long branch that pointed toward the road, where I lost track of it for what felt like the fiftieth time. After a few minutes of not seeing any movement I crouched down, trying to get a better angle to see past the tree branches right next to me. That's when I heard some noise just over my head. I looked up, and saw this—I swear, I almost said "Why, hello there" right out loud:

He only hung out in front of me for a minute or two, but that was all I needed:

I guess sometimes it pays to be stubborn mule-headed persistent, huh?


  1. Wow, I didn't know there were such things as black squirrels. Well done!


    /UP Reference FTW

    You'e not making it any easier for me to miss the annual VT Fall Getaway M&M Extravaganza. :( Great photos, as usual!


  3. It helps when you give off a vibe that tells the squirrel "friend" instead of "predator". Obviously, it picked up on that--or else it was curious what you were doing since you clearly weren't looking to eat it.

    Or maybe he just likes having his picture taken.

  4. Fantastic - what great photos! Love, Mom