Today's photo is a collage of images of my little red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) enjoying a strawberry during a snowstorm. While one of the squirrels examined the strawberry and cast it aside as he searched for sunflower seeds, this one appeared to enjoy a little fresh fruit in the midst of the snow and wind. I can't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure he enjoys posing for our little photo shoots.
Today's photo is a dewdrop reflection on a blade of grass. The reflection in the droplet is from a carousel horse in the background. The beautiful pinks, yellows and blues in the background are colors from the carousel horse that are out of focus. I love the soft colors in this photo.
Today's photo was taken in early May last year. This little beetle (I believe it is a blister beetle) was visiting the buds on my lilac bush in the late afternoon.
He caught me off guard when he spread his wings to fly away. You can see in the photo that a beetle has two pair of wings. The outer wings, called lytra, are hard and stiff and cover the inner wings when the beetle is at rest, explains the University of Kentucky Entomology Department. These wings protect the beetle and make him look like he has a hard shell. The second set of wings are hidden under the elytra, but when the beetle wants to fly away, he spreads the outer wings and uses the second set of wings to take to the skies.
Today's photo is a red squirrel. These squirrels are active in Maine all year long and are a common sight in the backyard. This little squirrel was born last spring and has been a regular visitor to my backyard everyday since then. In fact, I watched a pair of them grow over the course of the year. According to Natureworks, the female typically gives birth to three to seven babies in late winter or early spring. They are weaned at 7 to 8 weeks and leave their mothers at about 18 weeks.
Contrary to popular belief, red squirrels aren't crazy about dried corn and will avoid the dried corn cobs unless all other food sources are gone. They actually prefer sunflower seeds and will seek them out. Even when offered mixed seeds with dried nuts, my squirrels will choose the sunflower seeds first and leave the nuts until last. Of course, that means the bird feeder is their favorite location. I put up several feeders and try to have at least one feeder that is inaccessible to squirrels so I can enjoy watching both the squirrels and the birds all year. This also provides me with excellent photo opportunities!
To learn more about wildlife in Maine, check out my In My Backyard Series.