Red Squirrel, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

Picture Story

This past October, just outside our door, I thought I heard a little Red squirrel making happy eating sounds — like squeak-barks — but couldn’t see anything. Still, I was really excited at the possibility of catching a glimpse of one of our native squirrels (who I’ve rarely seen over the past 20 years here on Salt Spring Island).

A few days later, I heard knocking from high up in the trees in our “backyard” — which extends out into the forest — which reminded me of our woodpeckers. When I went to investigate, I noticed pine cones dropping on our gravel driveway and when I looked up into our tallest fir, which is over 30 m high, there he was, the tiniest squirrel I’ve ever seen knocking those cones off the branches. It was an incredible sight! He was scurrying at lightning speed along the branches near the top of the tree and I managed to get some photos, but it wasn’t until December that I could capture him on the ground enjoying his pine cone, which he nibbled as if he were eating a cob of corn — it was delightful to watch!

This little fellow is so brave and so fierce at defending his territory, especially when the flocks of birds come to forage in “his” tree. I hope he stays snug in his drey over the winter and safe from the owls, hawks and hungry predators who frequent the forest around our home. And I thank him so much for letting me watch as he goes about his daily business!

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