Friday, 22 January 2010

A Little Orange Visitor

A couple of mornings ago I went upstairs to Simon, who was still in bed.

"We've had a little orange visitor", I said.

"Oh!" he said, "one of those slugs."

"No", I said, "furry."

"Well, it'll be after your bulbs then."

A Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (écureuil roux in French),
nipping across our driveway.

Susan

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great photo,
We used to have one that lived in our walnut tree. Almost black from the walnut oil. If you went too near used to through walnuts down from the tree at us

Jean said...

They are such cute little things. The grey squirrels in England look just as cute but are a real menace. We had them nesting in our loft 3 years ago which was a nightmare. They were difficult and expensive to get rid of.
Are the red ones universally liked in France or do they cause trouble too ?

Susan said...

Anon: yes, they are feisty little creatures. Interesting about being stained by the walnut. Some of our local squirrels are black too, but Red Squirrels have a black form that is quite common in France.

Jean: nut tree owners don't always appreciate them, as they are capable of stripping a tree of nuts, but we have had no trouble. In France you are more likely to get a marten or a dormouse move in to the roof space.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Those gray squirrels are American and have invaded the British Isles. One or two have been sighted in France too, but they haven't yet taken over. They will, probably, and they carry a disease that kills off the red squirrels. It's too bad. Gray squirrels really are a pest.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Oh, forgot to mention that the gray squirrels are edible. People in parts of America eat them, and I understand people in the U.K. are being encouraged to hunt and eat them, to keep populations under control

Simon said...

Like this?

Jean said...

We have shot or trapped and drowned more than 30 grey squirrels since they were in our loft. Our local butcher in Derbyshire gave us a recipe for cooking them but we haven't yet. When we finally found someone to kick them out of the loft for us he found six nests in there.
We don't find them cute any more. And they eat my crocus bulbs and the bird food.