bright eyed and bushy tailed

In Lewis Carroll’s magnificent story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, one of the participants at the Mad Tea Party was a dormouse. That dormouse was very sleepy and had to be awakened on several occasions. Of course, that tea party had been going for quite some time. The Queen of Hearts heard that someone had claimed to just be killing time, and there was a trial. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse were all found guilty of murdering the time. The endless tea party must have interfered with the dormouse’s hibernation time…


Dormice are very sleepy animals. In fact, they spend six months out of the year hibernating. If the weather doesn’t get warm enough for them, they hibernate for more than half of the year. Doesn’t that sound good, especially on a cold day?

Dormice are rodents and they are very, very tiny. They are not, however, mice. They have fluffy tails, like a squirrel, a much larger rodent. Squirrels are different. They don’t hibernate, but they like to take long naps, especially when it’s cold because squirrels don’t like cold weather. 


In other words… squirrels are smart. Be like a squirrel.

Then again, squirrels dart in front of traffic, which scares drivers, who swerve to avoid hitting some maniacal zig zagging squirrel running amok in the middle of the road.


Squirrels are nuts. Don’t be like a squirrel.


Well… I have to admit that I’ve never actually seen a dormouse. They are not native to Western New York. I guess that I will put that on my bucket list.


To do: make the acquaintance of a dormouse while it’s awake.

But… speaking about bucket list items… taking wildlife photographs is one that always stays on my bucket list, mainly because there are so many different types of wildlife to be photographed. Also, the task can be challenging. Many animals are skittish and, if they see you getting ready to take their pictures, they run, despite the fact that they are really cute and ought to pose.

One way to get some good pictures of critters is to make sure that they don’t see you. You could be far away from them and have a super duper amazing zoom lens or… you could be inside. When I took this collection of squirrel portraits, I was inside because… well… I don’t like being cold any more than a squirrel does.

9 thoughts on “bright eyed and bushy tailed”

  1. No one told our squirrels they don't like cold weather, LOL. We had a back yard full today. But I love watching them scurry around looking for treats. Great photos!

  2. Squirrels are far from my favorite wildlife but they are just about the only animals I can photograph. I am way too impatient for anything else!

  3. I'm in hibernation mode right now, so I'm all in with that as long as I can take my laptop. 😉
    And I'd be inside, too, because I don't actually want to get anywhere near them.

  4. Where do you want to go today?

    When I visited the Grand Canyon, there was a sign that said something to the effect that of all the wild animals in the park, the elk, the bears, the goats: the most injuries and most serious injuries to the visitors were from the squirrels. People mistakenly think they are cute and try to feed them peanuts, then when the two get too close someone makes a move that frightens the furious fighting creature and natural defences result in nasty bites, cuts and scratches. They may be small but they are very strong, fast and a survivor.

  5. You did well with these pictures. I've seen squirrels in NY they look cute but I'm told can be pretty vicious. Super like your post.

  6. your squirrel pics reminded me of a story – true story too –
    years ago, my mil (when my son was 2 years old, i think) used to leave out a few cookies out on the patio each morning and there was one squirrel that came by to eat them.. my son and my mil would watch through the closed doors.. and one day, she forgot and we heard a frantic tapping on the patio door (we are on the 2nd floor!) – what do we see ? that squirrel – not a happy customer that day..

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