Friday, May 31, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

Well actually it was four days. I was a bit concerned when I didn't see Spunky for two days in a row, and following that there were two days of bad weather. Here was how she looked when I had last seen her:

Beautiful! Spunky's black fur had recently turned auburn. I hadn't thought of her as being beautiful before-- she was the one with the cutest face and all the personality, but when it came to looks, well... she had not drawn those cards. She never grew very large, but was always small and skinny, even when pregnant and in the winter time. She also had a tendency to get infections. There was always something wrong until Bernie took her to the vet when she had a bad infection in her cheek. Dr. Pliny gave her an experimental time-released antibiotic that worked over a period of days, and she's been healthy ever since. She even grew a nice winter coat this year. 

Anyway, back to this story: I was concerned about Spunky's whereabouts, so was relieved when she came by the other day. However, I saw what four days of apparently not much food had done to her:
I know... I'm a mess.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

That Squirrel

I just can't get enough of that squirrel! Hope the gentle reader feels the same way :)

Today I saw some squirrels enjoying a picnic with some humans, so I moved in closer for a better look...
how cute

Suddenly one of the squirrels broke away and came barreling toward me.

I can't deny I was flattered. And who says squirrels don't have good eyesight? Agreed, they frequently do not see the peanut on the ground in front of them, but I can attest to the fact that they always see me from afar. It's a bit of a mystery, but all I know is that when the Good Humor Cart arrives, the squirrels come running!
Surprise! My enthusiastic greeter turned out to be Gray Momma.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Separate Peace

keeping their distance

It was showdown time. I knew this day would come, just didn't know when and didn't know what would happen. I realized that like humans, squirrels have a dark side, that envy and territoriality had their place in the squirrel world. We see it in males like Mr. Operator (RIP) and ET (Alphie's Evil Twin), although Alphie doesn't show a dark side. We see it in the females that are the most successful at raising babies. Here the dark side has a definite purpose.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Cicadas are Coming!

The Cicadas are Coming!

We've been told that they're on their way, and will soon be erupting from beneath the ground, where they have been waiting for 17 years to come out.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I never thought I'd ever see a purple squirrel

...up close and personal, that is.

I've actually been seeing purple squirrels at PCV for a while now. There's a family of black squirrels that have a definite  purplish hue. These squirrels have been around for multiple generations, and I've enjoyed watching them, but they're particularly shy and skittish, so it's never been easy to get good pictures. Nevertheless, I managed to get a few nice shots before this one scampered away:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Natural Squirrel Formula

Squirrel rescuer Bernie Goetz uses a somewhat controversial formula for feeding pinkies and injured squirrels, which he devised after encountering problems with the Esbilac formula, which was the recommended formula for baby squirrels a few years ago. When on it, two of his baby squirrels almost died of uncontrollable diarrhea.

At the time rehabbers were vigorously endorsing the Esbilac product. Eventually the tide of opinion turned towards the Fox Valley formula, although when I attended the Vinegar Hill Baby Squirrel Workshop in 2011 they were still feeding Esbilac to the pinkies. I recalled one pinky that adamantly refused the syringe, which is apparently not that uncommon a reaction. The  Fox Valley formula for baby squirrels is a much improved formula,  but there are still squirrels that refuse it. Check out Mira's story:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The babies are down!

Today for the first time I saw Gray Momma's babies coming down from the tree! It was a rainy afternoon with not many people around so maybe it was a good time for them to  go exploring.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Squirrels of Peter Cooper Village Part 2

More pictures from guest blogger, photographer Gary Rabenko:

Please?  Don’t make me compete with all those young-uns!

Squirrels of Peter Cooper Village

Renowned photographer and squirrel afficionado Gary Rabenko came to Peter Cooper Village with his camera and took these wonderful photos.

In the photographer's own words:

This one illustrates the problem Gray Momma has: the cautious
and ever stressed squirrel, frantic and possessive.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gray Lady

The Essential Gray Momma

Isn't She Lovely!

Spring Squirrel Season

It's a wonderful time of year to be out shooting squirrels.

Spanky and the Gang

One of Spunky's young ones from a previous litter who is a carbon copy of Spunky in looks and personality, has thus earned the name Spanky.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hot Tails


Just as the trees and flowers are blooming everywhere now, squirrel tails are also blooming. The squirrels have finally shed their heavy winter coats and are now showing off their crowning glory. We see all sorts of color changes going on:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gray Momma and her Brood

Gray Momma is still busy raising her babies. At the moment they are still married to their tree and show no inclination to come down. But they're exploring the world from afar. Ive been feeding the squirrels near their tree so GM can be close by. When a large gathering occurs they like get very curious about what's going on down below. Maybe they will come down one of these days!
GM watches her babies from a branch above

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spunky the Milk Truck

I think Spunky just had her babies. Amazingly,  her formerly black fur has changed to a beautiful auburn color with this pregnancy. It's fascinating to watch squirrels change colors. They are constantly going through changes. It's almost like a fashion competition among the PCV brown squirrels: who has the latest look? As usual, she comes up on the bench,  sits next to me and delicately dips into the bag of nuts. She is extremely hungry, which  I guess is because she's feeding babies. If it weren't for her big appetite I'd think she was still carrying babies, because she's such a round ball. But I'm told this can be due to the fact that she's carrying lots of milk!

click to enlarge
It's me, Spunky!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Gray Momma's babies were peeking out at the world yesterday!
See if you can find them:

click on a picture to enlarge it
Hello World!
a black and two grays 

two grays with momma watching

a gray and a black

two grays

a gray and a black

a gray with momma

While the proud mother relaxed below
Where she had her own audience!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

American Squirrel

Here are more pics of Gray Momma and her tree. Her babies should be starting to come down the tree soon. I'm so looking forward to seeing them!

Gray Momma's Tree

the branch below the flag is the branch to her den