Contrast is what makes photography interesting.
~ Conrad Hall
I’m pretty sure this isn’t what ol’ Conrad meant.
However, this once-boring squirrel photo is now kinda interesting.
We’re finally getting much-needed snow! The recent warm temperatures and freakishly dry landscape felt slightly apocalyptic, so it’s a huge relief to receive moisture. Plus, the white provides a nice, clean blanket over all that drab brown.
However, it’s possible that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the snowstorm.
I just got back from a 4-mile run around the neighborhood. Emma started with me and then bailed at about 3/4 of a mile, possibly due to it being only 27 degrees. But it all worked out because as I dropped her off at home, I had the sense to put on my mask. Suddenly, it felt quite pleasant out there.
And when a bunny ran in front of me, I grinned and remembered that it’s Bunny Monday!
I’m sorry I don’t have a bunny photo to share, but here I am at home again, reenacting my Bunny Monday grin.
This guy was at the feeder that hangs right outside our living room window. When I sat to watch him liberate shelled peanuts from the cylinder, he immediately copped an attitude. He was furious that I was interfering with his efforts, and most certainly the chatter aimed at me was profane.
This squirrel’s head about popped off.
I admired him so much. Check out his body language. At first glance, you’d think the guy was chill, focused and absolutely motionless. Except. Note the blurred tail.
That is my goal for today as I tackle my revisions: to work with intense focus while also keeping in constant motion.
NOTE: I fully realize these photos are low-quality. However, because I’ve spent the day trying to schedule an emergency root canal AND because we just learned that someone stole our credit union debit card info in order to steal $1000 from our account, I’m thinking a Double Dose of Bunny is in order.
These were taken yesterday. I hope you enjoy.
NOTE #2: The body language of the bunny on the driveway hints at a continuing interest in CHASE, but I can’t vouch for what happened next.
I was working here at my desk, next to an open window, when I became aware of frenetic activity in the yard below. A split second later, another fact penetrated my brain fog: squeaking/screaming.
I jumped up and looked outside. Emma had a squirrel in her mouth. More shrieking (this time, from me).
Fast forward to Emma inside with me while Zebu went outside to check on the condition of the squirrel. He found it, alive, but motionless. It then took off running for the fence. Zebu came back inside to give the shocked animal some space. As we watched from the window, the squirrel tried climbing the six-feet-tall wooden fence. The bundle of fur made it halfway and then dropped to the ground. We agonized for the squirrel.
And then Zebu’s brain kicked in.
“That’s not a squirrel. It doesn’t have a tail.” Pause. “That’s a prairie dog!”
We were SO happy! The “squirrel” wasn’t failing to climb the fence because it was injured, it was failing because it wasn’t a fence-climbing creature!
Zebu leaned a timber against the fence for the prairie dog to use as a ramp. Didn’t work. He then opened the gate that lets out onto the wild hillside behind our house. Unfortunately, the prairie dog ran past the open gate, multiple times, and tried climbing the fence at the other end of the yard.
By then, Zippy was home. He and Zebu tried “herding” the frantic prairie dog to the gate. It was pretty stressful for everyone. Obviously, it was most stressful for the poor prairie dog.
He hunkered down and froze in front of Zebu. Right after I caught this shot, I was enlisted to help with the herding. By the time I put on shoes and got outside, the prairie dog made one more sprint.
This time, he went out the gate!
The three of us celebrated the liberation and apparent good health of our visitor, and wished him a safe return to his burrow (wherever that might be). Some days (and today is most definitely one of those days), it’s important to embrace the roles we play in setting things right on our little patch of the planet.
I’m working on a synopsis for my work-in-progress and, as anyone who has ever written one can attest, it’s not a pretty process. This time around I’m writing a synopsis before writing the novel which means I’m not locked into anything.
NOT LOCKED INTO ANYTHING = EVERYTHING IS A POSSIBILITY
Or another way to describe it: SQUIRREL BRAIN FREE-FOR-ALL
My ADD tendencies are having a blast-y as I try to reconcile my rough outline with all the brand new shiny ideas firing in my brain.
ZIP ZAP ZOOP.
However, I did make progress today. And when I’d had enough of ye olde synopsis, I put Emma on her leash and we went for a run on the trails.
Nothing clears the squirrel from one’s brain like a run over uneven terrain.
When we were together in Florida last October, sister Katie spotted this Marsh Rabbit sitting next to the water in Kapok Park. No big deal, right? Just a bunny hanging out.
You know why? Because other residents of Kapok Park include these:
So, it’s actually a very big deal to be a small rabbit chillin’ in that habitat. And maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here: the environment is treacherous for that Marsh Rabbit, but she survives by being vigilant and standing her ground.
On this Bunny Monday and going forward, I aspire to do the same.
Zippy has started the task of scanning photo negatives from long ago. Right now he’s revisiting July of 1992 when we lived in Alaska and one of his sisters was visiting. We did a boat tour in Kenai Fjords National Park where we saw this handsome sea lion:
Because we have approximately one metric shit-ton of negatives we haven’t looked at in years, I’m guessing we’ll unearth more sea lion photos from our time in Alaska. That means there’s a very good chance I could begin posting one every Saturday, and #SeaLionSaturday could become a real thing. (Especially if 50 people started joining me in posting sea lion photos each Saturday. Friends, they might think it’s a movement!)
All I’m saying is that #Caturday isn’t the only catchy hashtag.
Here’s a safety tip:
if a gator grabs your leg
gouge its eye sockets.