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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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Taking advantage of yesterday’s gorgeous springtime weather, this little Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) took a break from his chores to enjoy a snack and to bask in the warmth of the sun for a few moments.

squirrel2_spring_blogsquirrel1_spring_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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The squirrels in my neighborhood are very busy now as they scurry about getting ready for winter. This particular Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) paused several times to enjoy a leisurely snack. Rather than devour the treat on the ground, he would leap up onto this posing stand and delicately nibble away. He almost seemed to be aware that I was photographing him and periodically would change his pose to give me a different look.

I guess that I lucked into photographing a squirrel with modeling experience (and great hair).

Squirrel Nut blogSquirrel Nut 2 blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Another squirrel photo? In the past few months I have posted a number of photos of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). yet I  continue to attempt to photograph them whenever I can. Each time, the light is different, the environment is different, and the squirrel is different.

I really like the colors in this photo, the shades of brown and red, especially the way the brown-red surrounding the squirrel’s eyes is repeated in the exposed wood of the branch. I also like the unique characteristics of this squirrel, his cute pose and his little notched ear.

Another squirrel? I’m sure that squirrels will be featured again in my blog. In my suburban lifestyle, many days they may be my only link to nature.

Squirrel in tree

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Have you ever looked at your photos and realized that you captured two very different species in similar poses?

When I was reviewing my photos from this morning, I realized that a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) and an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) had each assumed the same pose as I photographed them. Strangely enough, they happened to be on the same tree at slightly different times.

I like how the lightness of the background matches the coloration of the bird. It wasn’t that long ago that I saw my first nuthatch, and I continue to be amazed by their acrobatic behavior and incredible flexibility. Imagine trying to hold yourself in a position like this!

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

The squirrel seems to be hyper-focused and intense, scanning his surroundings and ready to move at the sign of any danger. There are only a limited number of colors in this photo and I like it so much that I considered posting it separately with a title of Study in Gray and Brown.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The poses of the two wild creatures are similar, but their individual characteristics and the different color palettes of the two photos give each of the two images a distinctive feel.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Gray squirrel on my backyard fence

Squirrels always seem full of energy. They run around much  of the time gathering food and for enjoyment chase after each other with the reckless abandon of children. It’s fun sometimes just to watch them in their frenetic activity as I was doing one afternoon this past weekend from the inside of my house. One Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) seemed to especially enjoy running along the top of my fence. When he tired a little, he slumped down on the fence with his tail sticking up. I grabbed my camera and carefully made my way outdoors and was able to capture his pose. I like how it turned out, with the different shades of gray, green, and brown in both the foreground and the background. The squirrel’s pose suggests that he is still very alert, even if he is relaxing a little.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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After two days that were heavily overcast, we finally had some sunshine yesterday, although the day started out below freezing.A light sheet of ice covered then pond where I have been photographing ducks and geese, and they had all disappeared.

Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were very active, though, taking advantage of the weather to scamper about and gather food. It was fun to watch them run around, sometimes chasing each other like little kids playing a game of tag. I came upon this squirrel on a broken off limb, enjoying a snack. He was high enough up in the tree that he did not seemed to feel threatened by my presence.

There was some beautiful lighting from the side and the back that illuminated his underside when he turned in certain directions. My first few shots were really overexposed. If this had been a human subject, I might have tried using some flash to add some light, but that did not seem to be the right thing to do for a squirrel out on a limb. So I intentionally underexposed the image, blowing out the background (which was mostly sky, so it wasn’t a problem). I recaptured a little of the sky’s color in post-processing and played with the settings to try to bring out the texture and color of the squirrel’s fur. I guess that I never realized before that the fur is not a solid gray, but is a mixture of lighter and darker hairs.

I especially like how the light hits the upper portion of one of his ears and the tip of his bushy tail. The reddish brown tones of the wood also help to bring out the colors of his face.  It was nice to have a cooperative, photogenic subject.

Out on a limb

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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