It was a lovely grey morning. The fog was soft and muffling, though damp enough to make me cough. And I had company! Ivan had come along for the trip and snapped pictures up on the hilltop.
I do love the fog – as you know! – though when it’s thick, it’s difficult to get the series of seven shots that I aim for each morning. Obviously can’t line up the camera on the hilltop across the valley, can I? And somehow where the foreground lines up never impinges on my consciousness enough in order to know exactly where it is on a morning where my alignment marks are obscured.
Of course, that’s where the the shots on the memory card can come in handy! Looking at those close up can give a person a fair, if approximate, idea as to where the lower and right edges of the viewfinder should be. And then it’s just a matter of moving the camera the correct amount to the left in order to get the full series of seven shots.
As we were walking back to the truck, we caught sight of a red squirrel busily chewing away on a nut. Ordinarily these cheeky little fellows are quick to startle and run, then chatter a scolding when they get to a position they consider safe.
Dratted things, anyway. Don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but they tag-team when they’re foraging near a threat. They used to drive my dogs Katie-bear and Ninya just bonkers, with two or so coming almost low enough for the girls to get at, and teasing them with chitters and tail-flips to keep their attention, while elsewhere two or more of the squirrels would be running around the ground, digging, gathering, rooting around, all in complete safety.
Katie was always the more vocal of the two, sometimes all but shrieking at the nasty little beggars; but Ninya was the more energetic, leaping up against the trees and scrabbling her claws into the bark in an effort to get at the squirrel. There were times when I wondered if I would soon be the owner of a dog who had to be rescued from the branches regularly because she couldn’t figure out how to get back down…
Thankfully, all of our trees at the time had branches too high for her to get to, even if her vertical leap was amazing. But even now, I remember the dogs every time I see a little red squirrel.