The Gray Squirrel is the most common squirrel in the U.S. I love their big bushy gray tail, and watching it move when they run. It twitches and takes a different form at every step following along like a tail on a kite.
Squirrels are one of the only mammals that can come down a tree headfirst. They do it by turning their flexible back paws around and gripping the trunk just like they do on the way up. This squirrel is tearing apart a pine cone and collecting the small pine nuts inside.
The squirrels at my house always give us trouble. One year they had a craving for our garden hoses, and they chewed holes in all of them. So we borrowed some skunk traps from Gale to catch them. This year, they have decided to start sharpening their teeth on the ends of some old deer antlers we have outside. There isn’t much we can do about that so we usually just let them be. But sometimes I like to practice my aim with a pellet gun, if you know what I mean.