Back on Saturday, when we were finishing up with butchering chickens, Justin had occasion to go down to the pond to check on the cows and he came back saying he'd sighted a red squirrel -- what they call 'Boomers'. He took my camera and hurried back to the pond where he made these pictures.
This is the first sighting of a red squirrel by any of us in all the years we've been here (since 1975) -- we were told they used to be around here but had been hunted out. Of course, the same was true of gray squirrels, deer, and turkey -- we didn't see any of those during the first ten or so years we were here.
American red squirrels are considerably smaller than the more common (around here, at least) gray squirrels, one of whom I posted pictures of a few weeks ago. The red squirrel's tail is less bushy and they have white rings around their eyes. Normally they hang out at higher elevations, where there are more conifers but this fella is working hard on a black walnut.
It's so exciting to have new neighbors!