I still always look for them when I'm around trees. I've seen many of them in the oak trees behind Peachy Canyon's Tasting Room On Highway 46 West and Bethel Road in Paso Robles. (Or is it Templeton? It's one of those in between places.) I was unable to get a photo because the squirrels were moving to the next tree before I could get them in focus. They are very nimble and very quick. They are fun to watch. I support Squirrel Appreciation Day for tree squirrels most of the time. The squirrel in this photo was found in a tree on Oak Lane in Paso Robles.
one summer they destroyed most of my garden, plant by plant, very systematically, until there were no tomato or cucumber plants left. I never saw the culprits, but my husband finally saw the tail of one whisking away one day. Before that we had no idea of what had hit us. These culprits were ground squirrels, and they are very active in our area. I can appreciate how cute they are at Moonstone Beach, where I photographed this one, or almost anywhere but in my garden. Those who venture into my garden, however, I declare war on.
This photo is of another ground squirrel who lives inside or under this tree stump at San Miguel Mission. I had fun playing hide and seek with it during a visit to the mission last year. Click the link above to see the rest of the photos. I spent quite a while watching it.
I loved this photo of two ground squirrels I saw checking each other out at Moonstone Beach in Cambria. You can click the photo to make it larger.
In case you ever see a tiny ground squirrel that appears to be orphaned and you want to help, my friend Rex Truelove has written this article on Caring for Orphaned Ground Squirrels. I have never run into this problem on my property because the neighbor's cats would have found them before I would have.
If you have a destructive squirrel, you might want to look into one of these traps. I've been told the Squirrelinator works very well, but it will soon be unavailable because the manufacturer has discontinued it. Whichever solution you try, you can expect a tough battle. Before you buy a catch and release type trap, be sure it's legal to release the squirrels in your area. Many areas forbid releasing the squirrels because they aren't appreciated everywhere. They can carry diseases and destroy crops.
How do you feel about squirrels? Are you going to celebrate them today?