14th April 2023

An 8-minute trip to the vet wasn’t likely to offer new photographic opportunities, given that we have driven up and down this route numerous times recently, so for once I didn’t grab the camera.

But taking pictures has become a compulsion.

The iPhone went to work.

Which produced a curious result…


Yesterday’s 0845 sky facing south, right…

This morning 0842 facing north, above.


While I am but an amateur sky-gazer, I have been doing it for some time and the similarity of those two skies seemed most unusual.

Similar time, similar temperature, similar wind velocity?

What else could it be, I suppose.


Maybe the similarities are in my head?

Nature is moody. Angry with mankind.

But I believe she also has a sense of humour.

Only yesterday, I mentioned the carpets of blue flowers which I believed to be “Early Snow Glories”. Which we have never seen before.

What did I find in my garden this morning? How did they get here? Not brought by the wind or on a bird’s wing because they grow from bulbs.

Um, who planted them? Not me.

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Two years ago Nature brought me two Hollyhocks.

When strange green things emerge, I allow them to grow unless they begin to throttle some other plant, and that year my forbearance was rewarded by the most exquisite blooms.


Last year I waited patiently for them to appear but I watched in vain.

It is strange about this new blue flower, though. As I mentioned, they are growing in blankets. But if indeed they grow from bulbs, who is likely to have planted literally hundreds of them?

Normally I can be persuaded that there are perfectly ordinary explanations for strange occurrences. I’m not discounting that there is one here, but I rather like the notion that Nature send me surprises.

Perhaps it’s a reward for my good but mostly fruitless intentions as a gardener. Maybe she likes that I talk to her trees and so admire all her creatures.

It’s a nice idea anyway. This has always been a garden of surprises, from that first Spring when I waited to see what would emerge, having only arrived at the end of the previous September.


One of the trees I am particularly fond of was looking grand against the late afternoon back drop of white-barked Poplars and Red Maple.

There are nice views to be had around the property but many of them require walking some distance or clambering on a stone wall.

While I can manage the former, the latter is a bad idea. And with warm weather come ticks, of which I have developed a healthy fear.


So I settle for what I can manage.


Nature has sent us some unusual squirrels.

Early on there was Gimpy, who was lop-sided. It appeared to have neurological issues and listed to starboard. It’s path was always diagonal. There wasn’t much we could do except offer nuts and good wishes and after a number of weeks it disappeared.

Last year Ghost showed up. There are so many grey squirrels, it’s impossible to keep track of them all, but there is no mistaking this beautiful creature.


Recently, a squirrel came by that was missing an eye.

No evidence of an injury and it appeared to be well, but it can’t be good to be thus impaired if you are a squirrel. I didn’t get a photograph and though we have been looking out for it, we haven’t seen this one again.

Most of the squirrels that were identifiable by the unusual colouring of their tails have been seen a handful of times and then vanished.



31st March 2020. We called her Ms Peach

On the right a sort of half and half colour scheme.

Very distinct from the ubiquitous grey.

6th July, 2020. I called these tartans. Several variations visited us that Summer. They were interesting and quite strange, like everything else that year.


Eons ago, on Long Island, I remember a Crow we called Stumpy because it was missing a foot.

This Crow has an atrophied right foot. It can’t strut about like its pals but that doesn’t appear to affect its appetite or attitude.


Skunks differ a great deal in appearance.

As we don’t see them that often, we haven’t named any, but this one could easily be called Blanche for obvious reasons.


This one visited in daylight.

Skunks are such pretty creatures but you do not want to upset one. I always know when there has been an altercation during the night as the aroma permeates the window seals!


When I went looking for a picture of Little Red to finish up, I found in my large archive of squirrels, that I have in fact photographed many different-looking specimens. In my defense, I can only say that although they were still for moments in these images, they mostly rush about, so unless they have a very distinct identifier, it is impossible to keep track of who’s who. And it is certainly true that the odd-looking tails vanish!


“You’ll always know me! I’m Little Red.”


Of course, Little Red.

Though now there’s Junior Little Red, New Little Red

Little Red Minor, Minimus…

But the Little Red has a particular tail.



Is it any wonder if I am a bit squirrely?

14 thoughts on “Squirrely?

  1. Are you starting your own menagerie? Gimpy is cute.
    Are Early Snow Glories a type of bulb flower? Think I’m seeing these all over Japan, do they come in white also? Tulips are everywhere here also, which I didn’t think grew in Japan.
    It’s good to be obsessed with your camera – you never know what props up during a ‘normal’ day. 😉

    1. From what I read the Snow Glories come from a bulb and I think they do come in white as well. The Japanese are so artistic and fond of flowers (aren’t they?) flowers, I daresay they imported tulips from Holland? The menagerie just arrives!

      1. Ah, when we finish this 2-year trip and return home, I’d like to plant these as I have a few pics so will try and identify these with some sort of Google app.
        I’m sure at some point the Tulips were imported but they’re absolutely everywhere, even see these in the wild – birds perhaps.

        Ha, ha, I have some friends in an Italian village that we house sit for. Their menagerie consists of rabbits, chickens, roosters, a peacock, 2 miniature horses, 3 cats, 2 dogs, a goat, and can’t remember what else – probably added since we were there in 2019!

      2. We’ve house sat for a week, sometimes two, but the house is like a lovely resort with pool and a lot of land – gorgeous scenery, so it’s a pleasure. I have a post on my site with the house and a few of the pets.
        The saddest time was when one of the older dogs died during our housesit. He was sick when our friends had to return to the UK (think with mouth cancer). It was a horrible time for us as 🙁

      3. That is ghastly. I used to baby sit a friend’s cats and I was always happy to see them all still walking about. Once I had an elderly, ailing cat for a few days. I was so glad when the owner came back. That was the one thing I hated about travelling, leaving my cat. I only had one then and good sitters, fortunately.

      4. It was very distressing for both of us as of course, we had to dig a hole and bury poor Rocky (he was gorgeous). It was also pouring with rain to add to the sombre mood. I cried a lot. 🙁

  2. I have never smelled an angry skunk, and have no desire to do so.
    The squirrels are the answer to why you have unusual bulb-flowers in your garden. They dig up bulbs, then bury them to eat in winter. Then they probably forget where they buried them. and you get unexpected flowers. The same thing happened in our back garden with daffodils and snowdrops that we hadn’t planted. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. That makes sense. I hadn’t thought of it as I usually see them digging stuff up that I planted. I don’t mind an even exchange. Maybe it explains why I have a beautiful clump of daffodils down a slope where they can’t be seen. Always mean to dig them up and re-plant but by Fall everything is overgrown.

  3. The pretty blue flowers in your garden are a surprise, aren’t they! Yes, one wonders how it got there (although Pete’s explanation sounds good). But whatever the reason is, I would have been only too happy with their appearance in my garden! I like your squirrel photos – especially Ms. Peach. And always nice to see Little Red … haha, sounds like you have the whole Red family there with you!

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