It is Squirrel Appreciation Day!!!!!!! How did you celebrate the day?
Here is my squirrel story. I was in Sacramento for work and arrived on Super Bowl Sunday. Being only half interested in the game, and no one to tailgate with, I took my camera and wandered down to the park that surrounds the California State Capitol. What a wonderful park surrounding the capital. Sacramento was all mine that day. Everyone else must have been tailgating, watching the pre-game shows, or whatever. But I was the only person wandering around the capitol that day. Just me and my camera.
I got lost in the joy of having uninterrupted time to take photos. My only commitment for the day was to be back at my hotel before dark. That gave me hours to explore. If I remember correctly, a sample of every species of tree found in California is planted on the capitol grounds. And, coming from a place that was in a deep winter freeze, what an amazing site to see flowers blooming and orange trees shedding their crop! My senses went into overload and it was hard to decide what to visit and photograph next.
Then I saw this guy. We became fast friends. I watched him and he watched me. We flirted – I would turn away and he would run and stop and try to get my attention. ( I am sure that is what he was doing.) He would go up a tree – watch me as I turned my partial attention to a flowering bush, and when I turned back to him, he would scamper from branch to branch and stop and watch me along the way.
He must have spied this peanut from his vantage point. It was not from me. So, he scampered down the tree, grabbed the peanut and stopped. He stood frozen as if to challenge me on what I was going to do next. I crouched down and lowered my camera so it was not in front of my face. We looked at one another for the longest time. I didn’t want to stare so as not to look threatening.
As silly as it may seem to everyone else, I think I connected with this squirrel. I was able to get this shoe in before he ran up the tree nearby. He got up onto a branch that looked over me and looked down. I took a quick pic. I then nodded appreciation to him and said, “Thank you.” Not sure I had ever done that before, st least to something classified as a rodent. This is why labels are so unfortunate.
I spent well over an hour hanging with this little guy. I think of him often because our short time brought me happiness and joy.
When was the last time you gave yourself time to experience happiness and joy?