March 6, 2023
Scolding from a Squirrel
- as seen by -Julie Larsen
We trek along the trail worn into the uneven bedrock, the depressions still moist from the morning rain. The forest stand is tall with fallen trees filling the space between. The heady scent of balsam wraps around us. Chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches flit in the highest branches above our heads. It is the kind of peaceful afternoon we can only get along the Maine coast.
Suddenly, a sound, shrill and constant, breaks the silence. We have crossed into the turf of an American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
The small squirrel is busy stashing seeds and cones from the surrounding conifers, stopping just long enough to nibble and give us another lecture.
The American red squirrel is distinct from its gray cousin. It is russet-colored with a white belly and much smaller in size looking more like a child’s toy than a vociferous rodent.
We take a few quick photos and move on, heeding the squirrel’s harsh scolding for disturbing its lunch.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To celebrate Women’s History Month, Wild View is featuring posts by and about women and their contributions to science and conservation throughout March.