Squirrel Handles

Walking back home from the Boise River, Willa and I paused in front of the Fish and Game Department when we heard the tch, tch, tch, chatter of a squirrel. As I turned to say hello, it twitched its tail—a signal to others that it was uneasy or suspicious.

While assuring it that we were friends, not foe, another squirrel popped its head out on the other side of the tree— the stately oak now looking like it had squirrel handles—to confirm the first squirrel’s admonition, “Monsters! We’ve been invaded by monsters!”

And while double vision isn’t typically a pleasant experience, in this case, it was. Quickly dubbed Jekyll and Hyde, these two held the now famous “Squirrel Handles Yoga Pose” long enough for me to snap the photo—all the while tch, tch, tching a dire warning to others lest they end up in our evening stew.

What would you like to see more of?

© lauriebuchanan.com

73 thoughts on “Squirrel Handles

  1. Laurie, I can’t help but laugh at your wonderfully accommodating models!!😀 A brilliant photo! We have a regular set of squirrels around here and they even have their favourite place to cross the road! 😀 It would be lovely to see more of the red ones – they’ve been introduced up North and are a joy to watch.

  2. Great photo, Laurie! We have a whole herd of squirrels in our neighborhood and they’re ravenous all of the time. They helped themselves to tomatoes and even the baby zucchinis from my garden last summer. They’ve persistently emptied my finch feeder which is not squirrel-proof, until I bought a hot pepper suet cake and hung it nearby. Apparently they don’t like the spicy suet at all, so now the finches can enjoy their feeder anytime. I’d like to see more happy finches all year round.

    • Patricia — I’m so glad you found a win/win situation. Our finch sightings are seasonal—only in the summer. I’m always glad to see the first burst of bright yellow zing across my line of sight.

  3. This weekend US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Refuge I serve as a board member is hosting an annual “In Search of Eagles’ event. I’ll be staffing one of the sites with another board member. Last year, we spotted a pair of eagles and various types of ducks and water fowl. The eagle pair did a low and slow pass over those of us spotting on Lake Fontana Beach in Wi, as if to say, “Here we are, here we are!” Then they flew off to nearby tall trees to stake out a viewing point of their own. So, I’m hoping that once again we will be graced by the stately presence of Eagles!

    • Audrey — Ohhhhhhh, that sounds like an absoslutely wonderful event and experience!

      When we moved to Boise, people along the Greenbelt (paved pathway along the Boise River) told us, “Be sure to look up!” In doing so, we’ve had the privilege of seeing several majestic bald eagles.

      Boise is also home to two birds of prey facilities. I appreciate that they only house birds who wouldn’t otherwise survive in the wild.

  4. That is a cool photo! The squirrels cooperated in such a squirrelly fashion! Every time my mom and I see the little fellows, we think of my dad. He got so much enjoyment out of them during his last few years of life.

  5. Love your photo. My squirrel population has increased this past month, which probably means word that I’m putting out seed has gotten out. I’ve given up the battle of squirrel vs birds, and am finding that they manage to cohabit quite well, each getting turns at eating the seed offered them. Watching them chase each other around makes me laugh – they love racing from three to gazebo frame to roof of house, across to the tree on the other side. Sometime sit sounds like a stampede is happening up there. What would I like to see more of? Tolerance. What would I like to see less of? Trump. And Pence. And Ryan. And. . .

    • Joan — It boggles my mind how some parts of the country can be burning to the ground from wildfires, while others suffering through mudslides from torrential rain. I wish it was a balanced and gentle thing.

  6. I’d love to see more folks interested in preserving our environment and especially clean water. More care for our world class public education. More interested people in healthcare and children’s health. Sometimes I get tired of being the State under attack all the time. The Bush Administration even moved 500,000 troops here to attack our government. We are still 73% Blue and 77% green m

  7. Very cute photo, Laurie.
    To answer, sun, flowers. It’s been a grey, rainy winter. I’m ready for Spring. : ) Which of course means that I have to come up with at least ten things I like about Winter.

  8. Hi Laurie,

    What we need more of:
    Awareness, understanding, acceptance, compassion, action, commitment, abundance, security, diversity, creativity, responsibility, fun, exploration, cooperation, …..

    Awareness is perhaps hardest, as it means giving up many of the ideas we are most comfortable with about ourselves and the world we live in. It means being willing to question, to try out new ideas and seeing where they do actually work and where they don’t, rather than relying on accepted truths at any level. It means accepting that many things are connected in ways we barely begin to understand, and that some things are random, and that the act of being human is find that boundary between order and chaos that has a balance between creativity and security that works for us as individuals, for us as members of society, and for us as part of our ecosystem.

    Understanding is about accepting our eternal ignorance, and not using it as any sort of excuse to stop learning and testing and building the best understanding we can, even as we accept that it will be eternally incomplete.

    Understanding involves seeing both the competitive and the cooperative aspects of evolution, and getting that competition always pushes towards simplicity (from a systems perspective), while cooperation can allow for the emergence of new levels of creativity and complexity. Once one starts to see that, then the need for fundamental change in our existing social and economic structures becomes clear. And cooperation in complex systems always requires complex sets of attendant strategies to maintain itself – to prevent invasion and overwhelm by cheating strategies.

    Once one can start to see that every level of structure requires boundaries to allow the form of that structure to exist, then one can start to explore the nature of the boundaries that are actually required and the forms those boundaries make possible. Complex systems can have very complex and very subtle boundary conditions, and as human beings we are very complex systems, with some 20 levels of complex systems embodied in us all.

    Don’t expect simplicity where it cannot exist.

    Accept that whatever sort of understanding we have (however complex it is) must involve simplifications of something that is vastly more complex than we can possibly comprehend. In this context, eternal ignorance must be accepted, the hubris and certainty of our youth must be acknowledged for what it was – a simple approximation to something vastly more complex.

    Accept that security for any of us, anywhere on the planet, must involve security and empowerment for everyone, everywhere. And we are very rapidly developing the technology to make that a viable reality.
    At this level of cooperation, predatory strategies are simply not an option, ever.
    And that doesn’t mean getting rid of people, and it does mean ensuring that people who were once the embodiment of unacceptable strategies are now embodying fundamentally cooperative strategies.

    As a species, we now have the possibility of creating a world that empowers every individual to do whatever they responsibly choose, and that means everyone accepting that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, and that we must each be responsible for our complex nature, as individuals, as members of societies, and as members of ecosystems. We are all three, and we ignore any of them to our peril.

    We are rapidly developing the technological tools to solve all the very real problems we have, but having the tools does not necessarily mean we will use them wisely.
    Tools are neutral.
    It is how we use them that matters.
    Fire can cook our food or burn down our houses.

    Ensuring that we have sufficient boundaries to survive and thrive, without those boundaries being an unreasonable barrier to creativity, exploration, and self expression is the very real challenge we have now, at every level.

    We all have our conservative and our liberal aspects.
    Each is required, in appropriate context.
    Each is dangerous if taken to extreme.
    Finding that virtue of the mean is an eternal exploration, and will involve mistakes, and forgiveness.

    And our deep history has some deep lessons about the sorts of strategies that work – Jordan Peterson does some great work in that respect.

  9. Good photo catch! My guy and the local squirrels have a ‘spitting’ contest most every morning here. A particularly brazen one waits until he thinks the man of the house is up in his office, and the brazen one hangs upside down on the (waaay up high) bird feeder. My guy goes running out of the house with his arms twirling in distress, shouting “This is for the BIRDS!” The squirrel (and some of his cohorts) runs up to the top of the tall tall tree and says all matter of nasty things (while also squirrel laughing) tch tch tch. It. Is. Hysterical. For Christmas my guy was given a t-shirt with a large squirrel on the front with the caption, “Hey, you, the bird feeder is empty. Would you please fill it up again?”
    I would like to see cohabitation of animal and human more often. With lots of humor and kindness.

  10. Good photo catch, Laurie! Love the squirrel yoga handles. We enjoy scampering and tching squirrels in and around our yard. Lately the favorite activity is the annual burying of nuts.

    What would I like to see more of? More compassion and acceptance between peoples of different ethnicities, religions, cultures, and countries. Right now I feel as if our world is tautly stretched in so many different directions that is might just snap into several pieces. More, please!

  11. Laurie, the photo made me think about all the animal yoga postures. Your photo is a combination of Tree, Cobra, and/or Plank postures. Hard to tell with their little legs. Your photo made me smile. Thanks for the smiles. I wonder if I will be a little “Squirrly” or “Up a Tree” in class tomorrow.

  12. That´s a lovely story… I wonder how animals would see us (I recently read that dogs see in white and black, but I am not so sure if it is true)… Anyway, it seems after a while those squirrels might have wanted to become friends with you! 😀 sending love & best wishes, dear Laurie 🙂

    • Aquileana — I’ve often thought that animals must think humans are awfully strange. For instance, my dog Willa always gives me an odd look when I immediately pick up after her. I suppose she’s wondering why, Why, WHY would you want to pick that up?! 🙂

  13. What a great shot! It reminds me of a photo I took over the pasture fence a few years ago in Early Spring. It was full-on calving season and the nursing mamas and their babies were in the quiet portion away from the main herd. I spied a little curious head peering at me from behind a large oak and as I was focusing my camera…Surprise! Another little head complete with sugar-scoop ears and huge chocolate-colored eyes was checking me out too! Got the shot. Still love it to this day! I would so love to see more baby calves! Thanks for the memory!

  14. That is a wonderful image …I adore sqibbles ( as I call them) i. Just ignore the people that call them tree rats . In fact , I like most creatures that people don’t ( in truth I like all creatures )
    A little random madness I’d like …and most definitely kindness ❤️❤️

  15. Hey! Found your blog at Susie’s party. And am glad I did. I loved the posing squirrels. I have one outside my home and it comes on my window and poses for a while. They don’t mind looking into your eyes. Have found some very friendly ones at a lot of places.

  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog today via Susie’s dance party. Love the squirrels! What a great capture … there are so many fun parts to the photo, like the perfectly positioned visitor parking sign. Also looks like the squirrels are purposely ignoring each other. Fun!

  17. Hi,
    I know Aquileana I loved your dominant graphic. I am always trying to improve my blog photography. I work in a school with many squirrels and I have photographed them but I definitely find trees more interesting. I am going to Alaska this summer where I will practice photographing trees.
    Congratulations on building and I’m games community. Look at all these comments!
    Susie sent me! Maybe you can check out my blog if you need any blogging tips. I write about how bloggers can be more successful. I also have blog parties like Susie.

  18. Laurie, love your capture! Enjoy the flurry of activity between seasons. I’d like to see more hedgehogs 🦔 so cute, needing room to roam. Thanks for bringing the garden to my living room! Suz

    • Suz — I haven’t seen a hedgehog in forever! Now I’m going to go find them on the internet and see if we even have them here in the Boise-area of Idaho. Thank you for the wonderful reminder 🙂

  19. Darn, I’d like to see squirrels find new places to hang. They’ve been finding ways to gain access to our own roof overhang and once got as far as to sever electrical wires. We all love animals and own many but this is taking advantage of our hospitality! 🙂

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