Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jedi Squirrel

So the other day I'm working at this huge estate, using a gas-powered leaf blower. I was blowing debris through a short split-rail fence over the edge of a hundred-foot cliff that leads down to the water. Earlier, I had noticed some squirrels running around gathering Fir Tree cones for the little seeds that would be their winter food.
As I'm working my way along the edge of the cliff, I noticed a squirrel sneaking up behind me on the rail fence, despite all the noise, blowing debris and my presence. At first glance I thought it was holding a Fir cone in it's mouth, so I decided to turn the blower off and let it run by. The squirrel took another second to roll up it's bundle into a tight grasp in it's teeth, and then ran by me. That's when I could see it was carrying a baby squirrel, which was not that small any more. With her baby in her teeth, she lept off the cliff and caught the branch of some tree clinging to the steep rock face. I watched as she came back two more times and repeated the amazing leap, carrying her little guys from a hole in a rock wall, across the rail fence and diving over the cliff to the tree branch.
It reminded me of how hard these little animals work; life for them is non-stop food gathering, and mating.

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