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Posts Tagged ‘Sciurus carolinensis’

Greens for breakfast? It’s not what I would choose, but it’s what was on the menu for an Eastern Gray Squirrel early this morning at Huntley Meadows Park. The squirrel paused for only a second, so I didn’t have much time to frame the shot. I like the result and this was a rare occasion when I did not need to crop the image at all.

As for my breakfast choices, I think I will stick with my usual oatmeal.

Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was scampering across an open area at Green Spring Gardens last week. Suddenly it stopped, got up in its hind legs and turned to me with a half-smile. I think it was deliberately posing for me, so I took this shot.

The squirrel was so tall and upright in this pose that it looked like it was simply going out for a casual two-legged morning stroll through the garden, like so many of the people that were passing by us.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Would you stop to watch a squirrel as it nibbled on a branch or would you move on in search of more exciting wildlife? I love trying to capture the beauty in the ordinary and spent quite some time recently observing and photographing this Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) at Huntley Meadows Park.

Although the tree looks kind of dead, I think that the squirrel spotted a fresh bud on the end of the branch and decided to chew on it for a little while. Normally a squirrel has its head down when feeding and it was nice to be able to get this shot with its neck extended. The little reflection in its eye was a bonus.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It was cool and cloudy early yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park and there was not much activity. Perhaps the birds and animals stayed up to welcome the new year and were sleeping late.

This Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was a notable exception—he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. In the midst of all of his activity, he paused for a few seconds to look in my direction and I was able to capture this modest little portrait of the squirrel.

I didn’t take any spectacular shots yesterday morning, none that are likely to make my list of favorites for 2016. I don’t feel disappointed, however, because I really enjoy taking photos of ordinary creatures and trying to capture a sense of their personalities. From that perspective, my new year of photography has already been a success.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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When you happen to catch sight of a squirrel, do you just keep walking? I love to watch squirrels. They are so energetic and industrious, traits that I admire in humans as well.

Last week, this Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) at Huntley Meadows Park seemed to be posing for me and we had our own little portrait session. The squirrel made many minor adjustments to its body position to provide mw with a lot of different looks. Towards the end of our photo shoot, the squirrel had to take a short break.

Sometimes when you have an itch, you just have to scratch it, as you can see in the final image.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Squirrels scurry about so fast or hide in the shadows of the trees so often that it is frequently tough for me to get clear shots of them. This Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) took a break from his work to bask in the sun and enjoy a snack (I think it was an acorn) and I was able to snap a few shots of him.

I particularly like the way the light fell on the squirrel and how it illuminated the fluffy tail. In addition, I can’t help but like the squirrel’s cute pose and facial expression. He seemed to be enjoying his little snack.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Some of the Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) at my local marshland park are not gray—they are black. Some of them are pure black, while others, like this one that I photographed yesterday, seem to be a mixture of gray and black. What’s going on here?

According to Wikipedia, black squirrels are a “melanistic subgroup” of the Eastern Gray Squirrel caused by the presence of mutant pigment genes. If there are two mutant genes present, the squirrels will be jet black, but they will be brownish-black if only one such gene is present.

In a fascinating bit of historical trivia, the black subgroup seems to have been predominant throughout North America prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, as its dark color helped them hide in old growth forests which tended to be very dense and shaded. As time passed, hunting and deforestation led to biological advantages for gray-colored individuals.

Squirrels seems to be very active right recently, preparing for the colder days to come. They always seem to be in a big hurry and I was happy to be able to photograph this one as it took a short break from its frenetic activity.

 

Black Squirrel web

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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