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Posts Tagged ‘squirrel’

I was so shocked yesterday morning at Prince William Forest Park to spot a bright white squirrel that my brain froze for a moment—it simply could not process the information transmitted by my eyes. We have black squirrels in the Washington DC area, but I never realized that an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) could be white.

My first thought was that it might be an albino squirrel, but when I zoomed in, I could see that its eyes are dark. I did a little poking about on the internet and learned that there are white morphs of the gray squirrel that have a rare gene that causes them to be white.

In response to a photo I posted on Facebook, Sue, a retired biology professor who authors the wonderful Backyard Biology blog, reminded me of a post she had written in 2013 entitled “A white shade of tail” that includes a lot of great information on white squirrels.  Who knew, for example, that there are locations in the United States where white squirrels are relatively common? Be sure to check out that posting and other awesome postings on Sue’s site, where she freely shares her accumulated knowledge, current observations, and beautiful images. (She is special to me too because she was one of the first subscribers to this blog almost seven years ago.)

I suspected that the white squirrel would be skittish, so I took a series of shots from a distance. As I anticipated, when I took a step forward, the squirrel scampered away.

At first glance, I thought all my photos were the same, but when I looked more closely, I saw that they captured different facial expressions. I try to look at my subjects as individuals and not merely as representatives of their species. The cute little expressions in these images remind me of the individual personality of this unusual little creature.

white squirrel

white squirrel

white squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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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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On a beautiful spring-like morning, even the squirrels in my suburban townhouse neighborhood today looked amazingly photogenic.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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