I was at a park that is paradise for a very large population of squirrels. I was there when a whole new generation of youngsters were coming into their own, enjoying carefree days of play and discovery.
After about three hours of non-stop shooting, I sat down on a tree stump to rest for a bit. Not three minutes later this little guy appeared right in front of me. Fortunately putting the camera up to my face did not scare him off.
Gee, what's that in his mouth...
The knotted end of a balloon!
At first I was concerned that he would swallow it not knowing it wasn't food. What would I do if a baby squirrel started choking right in front of me?
Hmmm... well I guess he knows it's not squirrel food. Oh my gosh, how cute is that?
I sat there ready to keep shooting wondering if this would be it, would he see me now and run back into the hole?
Nope! To my surprise, he began to play with his balloon. He definitely knew that this was a toy and not a possible mid-day snack.
He seemed fascinated by the elasticity of his toy. He held the loop in his mouth and pulled the knotted balloon end back and forth just as we do before we blow up a balloon. But in this case, he was clearly just playing with this fun rubber thing he found. I winced as I expected to see it snap back in his face, but he somehow knew not to let go when his arms were extended! Phew, it really was just fun and games.
I am always so amazed to see animals with such classic human traits.
KIDS WILL BE KIDS!
See complete gallery at http://www.KimMichaels.com/SquirrelsAtThePark