Big Meal

By: Danny Brown

Oct 19 2012

Tags: , , ,

Category: Mammals


October 5, 2012

I enjoy watching squirrels gather walnuts as big as their heads. They don’t seem to be intimidated by such oversized morsels because I’ve watched them shred the fruit off a nut in a matter of seconds. I even made a high-definition video of a gray squirrel shucking a walnut a few days ago (I thought) but when I got back to the house I couldn’t find the video on my camera. I told Joyce that I had some technical difficulty retrieving some awesome footage and she said, “Oh, you mean you didn’t know what you were doing.” I hate to admit that she was right but in my defense, I never use the high-tech video capability of my camera as it takes my concentration away from the task at hand, which is making photographs.

Squirrels use a haphazard method to store nuts for winter, at least from my observations. Sometimes they carry the nut across the yard and bury it with what appears to be a plan, and other times they just bury it right in the spot where they found it. Voles and chipmunks are a little more systematic as they place their prizes in a cache where they will have no trouble finding them later in the winter. I guess squirrels know what they are doing; I’ve never seen a skinny squirrel around the farm.

I captured this image by setting my blind up near a stump where this particular fox squirrel preferred to shuck its walnuts. Believe it or not I logged at least 18 hours in the blind over several days to finally get the image I was looking for. I lined my blind up with a pine tree to get the nice background color. Check out the rear paws on this guy; they look like furry red clown feet! The fox squirrel is one of Missouri’s most common mammals, and certainly not loved by all, but I find them to hold their own in “looks” department with the most gorgeous of our animals. I was particularly impressed by the reddish-orange color on this one’s tail flanks. Whether you love squirrels or hate them, I hope you enjoy this slice of nature’s beauty.

Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS; 1/320 sec @ f/5.6; ISO 400; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley Head; Trekker T-100 Blind; Converted and processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)

Thanks for Looking!



Find me on Facebook where I post additional images each week.

Footnote:  I used to say “stripping walnuts” but I like my friend Amy Meier’s terminology “shucking walnuts” better, so I’ve used it here. Thanks Amy!


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4 comments on “Big Meal”

  1. This is such a delightful image…it’s so easy to love these cute, cuddly and greedy critters! Thanks for the crisp, clear image.

  2. Beautiful shot of this fox squirrel. He looks as though he is packing it on for a long cold winter. We beater all get ready. Thanks for sharing.


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