Greetings folks. Excited to announce there has been a few rays of sunshine breaking through the dark clouds. Last post I mentioned that Ron pulled triple watch duty so Linda and I could attend several events in the St. Louis area. One of those was the memorial/tribute to Linda’s relative that had transitioned to a better place last year. I am sure she was smiling while looking down at hearing the wonderful stories shared by her family. Monday, Raven competed in the Poodle Agility Nationals at Purina Farms. Went one for three, but his first run was perfection earning him first place in his division. Two proud parents, although Ruger was giving his older brother crap for the other two runs while bragging about how he is going to show him up when he competes against him next year. The last ray of sunshine came this morning. I’ve been hinting at a likely surgery coming up. Today was a third referral consultation. Ended up seeing “one of the experts” who I learned also takes care of the St. Louis Blues. After an extensive exam and review of all the previous tests (MRI, xrays, etc) he was able to diagnose the issue – good news, NO SURGERY unless his recommended physical therapy fails to improve it. There’s a battery of therapy sessions and incredibly painful deep tissue massage/torture in my immediate future, but I pretty much walked out of the office 2 feet off the floor. When that euphoria wore off it was replaced with some definite anger that the local specialists had given me a bad read (and cost me a chunk of change). Lesson here, get multiple references before they cut ya’.
In light of those good moments, it just seems fitting to bring you the last installment in my balls of cuteness series.
Hit the jump to read more about our reddish friend.
If you’ve been keeping up with the April posts, you know I’ve been walking you through my preferred Squirrel list ranked by level of increasing cuteness. Recapping, in 4th place we have the Eastern Grey (link here). The Black comes in at the 3rd spot (link here) and since I do not have a new series of them to show, the top spot was clinched by the Whites of Brevard, North Carolina (link here). Brad M. did educate me on the Fox variety which can be found in our parts as well. After careful consideration, had to put them in 5th spot mainly under the impression that smaller is cuter and those Fox’s tower over the other species.
For those not keeping track on their fingers, you are looking at the 2nd place position on the list – the Red, honestly, I think they should have been named “Cudobs” for the “Cutest Damn Squirrels Outside Brevard”. Try telling me this specimen doesn’t make you smile when you lay eyes on its perky ears, dainty nose, button eyes and reddish highlights. Want to make a difference in people’s lives, slap a vest with “Therapy Squirrel” written on it and make the rounds at your local hospitals.
Whoa, the Intrigued legal department just pulled the emergency fire alarm and demand I make the following statement. “We here at Intrigued DO NOT in any form or implied nuance suggest ANYONE (that means YOU) go out into the woods, scoop up a wild Red Squirrel and take it into a medical facility no matter how cute it happens to be. NEVER EVER EVA‘. ”
(Pssst, are the suits gone yet?…yes). Okay, my bad, missed a step. After you scoop one up, be sure and give it a good scrubbing, blow drying and style before slapping the vest on and taking it in. We don’t want anyone getting sic….crap, the suits are coming back and they look pissed. For now, hold off on the whole therapy Squirrel thing until we get the details straightened out.
While the lawyers squabble about the likelihood of patients getting rabies, I’ll give you a bit of background on our furry friend. To be correct, it is actually called an American Red Squirrel and are not the same as the Eurasian variety. This particular specimen comes to you courtesy of a recommendation by our friend over at the Cedar Journal blog (link here). She had posted about how nice Bear Head Lake State Park was in Ely Minnesota. We happened to be heading up to see the Wolves at the International Wolf Center (we are members there) and thought it would be a great time to check the place out for ourselves.
Absolutely fantastic choice. The campground was nestled in the woods along Bear Head Lake. There were multiple trails through the woods and one that took you around the banks of the lake providing ample opportunity to get some birding in before making the trip back home. Managed to consume a good chunk of a digital card on a Common Loon that was enjoying the calm waters of the lake. The rest of the card was used up on our red fella (or maybe feller) here.
Linda and I were sitting at the campsite picnic table with the boys when Red scurried down a nearby pine tree and scooped up some kind nut or cone that had fallen from the tree. Immediately identified it as a Cudsob and ran to the RV to get The Beast. Didn’t expect it to hang around long especially with the dogs huddled up discussing how to distract mom, free each other of the leashes, tackle this intruder, slap a vest on it and take it to the nearest medical facility.
Completely oblivious to the boy’s plans, Red continued to much away at its supper. Shudder snap, shudder snap, munch, munch, shudder snap, munch repeat for the next 20 minutes. Eventually, it nibbled its way through to the end. It is possible, that Squirrel species are inversely proportional to their level of cuteness. This hypothesis purely based on this specimen deciding to then run straight past the dogs and under our RV. Talk about a deathwish or it somehow knew the boys lacked opposable thumbs so the leashes were staying put.
This did allow me to get some additional shots that ended up being my favorite in the series.
By this time, I was getting worried that I might be stressing it as it kept looking back and forth between the dogs and the bazooka pointed at it. Backed away and tried to give it safe passage to the tree line. Off it went leaving me with a huge smile. Good times for sure. Thanks again to CJ for making us aware of this state park – definitely on the list for the next time we head up to see how our Wolves are doing.
Take care everyone, back on watch so I’ll once again be spotty on the replies.