Cone on the Cob

A Douglas' squirrel eats a cone in a forest in Leadbetter Point State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington

A Douglas’ squirrel chews through the outer part of the cone to get to the seed underneath, like we would eat corn on the cob except that we are interested in the corn not the cob. A lovely little squirrel, and native too. Taken at Leadbetter Point State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington.

Sign of Sanity

A Douglas' squirrel sits atop a tree stump on the Hoh River Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park

While visiting Olympic National Park in 2004, my wife and I escaped the crowds of the Hall of Mosses Trail and walked down the lovely Hoh River Trail where we met this Douglas’ squirrel. When you spend time photographing something as common as a squirrel at a place as special as the Hoh Rain Forest, some of the other tourists look at you with a mixture of curiosity and pity, as though you’re either slightly mad or slightly a moron.

Both of which might be true, but I enjoy photographing squirrels and do it no matter where I am, especially species like this one that I see less often. While the squirrels I see in my yard in the city are invaders from the east, the Douglas’ squirrel is one of the native tree squirrels in the Northwest.