Friday, March 24, 2017

Squirrel Season

Squirrel season at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in San Antonio doesn't mean the same as it does to hunters.  It means Springtime is the time of the year when baby animals are born, and there is an abundance of infant mammals including squirrels that have to be rehabilitated for eventual release.  The little ones have to be fed formula by syringe 4x per day, which means volunteers are doing that almost continually.  I did nothing but feed squirrels for 5 hours yesterday, but eventually they get big enough to eat on their own and we don't have to work so hard.  Some make it; some don't but we all try very hard to get most of them to survive.  I held one last week while it passed away, and yes, even a squirrel's life is valuable and worth preserving. 
"I Know There's a Cat Around Here Somewhere"  by Catherine L. Gauldin, 2010
Colored Pencil and pastel on paper, 14 x 18
I've always liked these animals, and they remind me of little comedians.  A while back I saw a fox squirrel viewing me with a lot of suspicion from behind a tree on the grounds of the Courthouse in Columbus, Texas.  I took a few pictures of him and one of them yielded this portrait in Colored Pencil and pastel.  He made an interesting subject for a drawing, and I liked the result so it's been hanging on my wall ever since.  I think I'd like to do some more images of the various species of Squirrels we have here in Texas. 

The one with the widest distribution is the fox squirrel. It prefers an open, parklike woods where large mature trees shade the forest floor and prevent the under-brush from flourishing, but it can adapt to a variety of forest habitats. It is most abundant in the eastern third of the state, and distribution in the wild is about one squirrel for every two or three acres. Since a fox squirrel ranges over an area of at least ten acres during any one season and may cover forty acres during a year's time, the territories of several often overlap. It is not uncommon for squirrels to share winter food supplies.
http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdpubs/introducing_mammals/squirrels/