Squirrels doing what squirrels do.
There is a small park in Huntington Beach, California, where hundreds of squirrels call home. I mean hundreds of 'em! I came upon this park when the baby squirrels were at their absolute cutest. I spent four hours photographing these incredibly entertaining creatures. So hyper, constantly running, jumping, playing, investigating, eating, always on the move. Or combing through the grass for tidbits to munch on.
The long narrow park they live in must have been custom designed for them. On one end they have a huge playground full of rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, rocks of all sizes. On the other side of the park are several dirt mounds in which they have built a very elaborate system of tunnels. In the middle are big trees with very large above ground roots. All this is surrounded by grass. These lucky critters are living in squirrel Nirvana!
They definitely live by the rule of the land. There is always one squirrel on duty watching out for danger approaching. Loud calls or chirps will alert the colony of a "predator" (usually a curious dog) and the masses will run for cover. Very funny to watch hundreds of squirrels disappearing in just a couple seconds. Once the threat is gone, they all come out to play again. This goes on all day long.
This is a popular park, it runs along a street that offers free beach parking. The locals walk their dogs through the park, come for a picnic, a reading break, or they come specifically to feed the squirrels. Talk about a change in personality. These peaceful, docile beings, who live in perfect harmony together, become aggressive rodents when peanuts, Cherrios, or bread is given to them. People love to feed them which is obvious by the healthy girth of the older adults.
I sure had a great time being entertained while I photographed them. And since they are used to people, you can get very close. I wasn't prepared, didn't have any food with me, I tried to fake them out with empty peanut shells. No go, they can tell the shell is empty from far away. A couple curious ones came up to me, but most were holding out for the real thing.
There is no limit on cuteness!