Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red heads for Alphie?

I'd lost sight of Red for several days, but others said they had seen her, so I wasn't  that worried. Then yesterday I found her in a tree just south of the fountain.  She had traveled all that distance from her area over by the main entrance to PCV.  Alphie lives just north of the fountain, and it looked like Red was making her way towards him, perhaps propelled by a force stronger than what her little peanut brain could understand. In another day she could reach the bushes by the orange tree, and find her destiny!
The Fountain
In the center is the fountain. On the right there's a nest, way out on the branch of the tree where I'd found Red. On the left is the area that includes the "orange tree" and the hedges, which is where Alphie, several of the black babies and many other squirrels live.

On my valentine blog
I'd expressed the wish that Red and Alphie would meet and mate. I was curious if it would be love at first sight. Do squirrels get attracted by anything beyond smells? Someone suggested that Red would most likely  mate with some of the gray squirrels that lived in her tree and I had a bleak vision of a fate devoid of romance and adventure for this little beauty. But now Red seemed to be moving in the right direction, so  I excitedly began to think of ways to  lure her over to Alphie's area. No need for a plot-- she was already by the fountain today:

Seeing Red
She quickly followed me over to the hedges where Alphie hangs out, no doubt propelled by a burning desire for snacks.

Milady has arrived

And she eats well.

But -- now there's no sign of Alphie! He's usually the first one to come running over. Where was he today? 

Master Alphie has arrived.
To my relief, Alphie at last makes his appearance. But now Red is gone! Would ever the twain meet? I was wondering if it was a case of shyness?  Or coyness? Or a mundane case of fullness? I'd probably fed her too many nuts already. I hoped she'd come back as they sometimes do when they're feeding. But she didn't. I realized then that I would not be seeing the two of them together today.

Then a terrible dread came over me. I grabbed my camera and went through the pictures that I had just taken.  Sure enough, there was no kink in Red's tail. Red has a distinct spot on her tail that looks like this:
Kinky squirrel tail
I had been so excited when I saw the beautiful red squirrel by the fountain that I had failed to notice the missing kink. A little squirrel moves so fast that it can be difficult to notice such details. But sure enough, the still pictures showed without a doubt that this squirrel's tail was perfectly intact. See for yourself:

My perfect tail!
That meant that this could not be Red.  Seems to be Red's body double.

And thereby hangs the tale of a tail.

No animals in this story were harmed.  Once I realized that the squirrel in question was not Red, I rushed over to her regular area to search for her. And there she was, glad to see me and doing just fine:

The Real Red

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