words and images by Warren Wilson
Watch a squirrel sometimes. Aren’t they industrious?! They are great gatherers, always working toward an end goal. They seem to always be up to something. If they aren’t procuring nuts, flowers, or even bird seed, they’re sitting out-of-range watching you dig that hole in the garden. (Have you ever wondered who dug-up your newly planted zinnias? Yep!...you guessed it…that squirrel that sat watching you work.)
They seem to always be constantly on-the-move, fulfilling a purpose we are unaware of. Personally, I’d like to inherit some of those qualities...imagine what all I could get done!! Always-with-purpose does have a great ring to it.
Who can hate a squirrel? They always seem friendly enough. But, don’t be deceived. If they are sharing their cuteness with you, most likely you have something they want.
But, they have enemies. Their resourcefulness doesn’t always sit well with us, especially when we hear them in our attic or when they have figured a way to get to the bird seed out in the back yard. The battles can be endless. Red-Tailed Hawk eyeing a squirrel
Besides us, they have other predators, foes that none of us would want to be on the wrong side of. One day, I was eating lunch in a city park. I heard a commotion and looked up to watch a squirrel scurrying from limb to limb. This squirrel had a purpose—it was trying to elude a red-tail hawk. The squirrel was giving the hawk a run for its money. The squirrel seemed to be easily winning the battle. But, I had the give the hawk credit also. It remained persistent in its quest to catch the agile squirrel.
I took a few pictures, got bored and sat down to finish my lunch. Just as I was packing up to leave, I looked up just as the hawk was flying off with the squirrel firmly in its talons. The hawk had won the battle but all I could think about was the missed photo opportunity (and, of course, the poor squirrel).
So, next time you see a squirrel, show a bit more love. Remember that they don’t have it as easy as that happy, little face appears.
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