Skip to comments.My Summer With Fat Earl The Ground Squirrel (the best photos)
Posted on 01/15/2012 11:49:37 AM PST by Texas Fossil
A few summers ago I took some time to drive out to the old home place where I grew up during the 50s and 60s. Lots of memories accompany me with every visit so each trip is a grounding of sorts. I think we all need that from time to time, or at least I do.
On one particular trip in early summer I noticed a small critter scurrying through the parched grass a short distance away and after closer inspection I recognized a little Mexican ground squirrel quite busy looking for some grub to store in his burrow. Being somewhat familiar with the habits of these little boogers I quietly approached with my camera and shot some images. Seeming to be somewhat unafraid of my 6 ft frame towering nearby, it was clear that I should take advantage of his acceptance of me and plan a routine pilgrimage to solidify our symbiotic friendship.
As the visits became routine Fat Earl and I became pals and he trusted my being near him at all times. I would often find him/her seeds to eat and occasionally an insect for dessert, an added morsel he seemed to relish.
Over the course of the summer I took over a thousand photos of Fat Earl doing what ground squirrels do. Then one day I drove up and something was different. Earl did not come running when I exited the pickup. An ominous void troubled me as I approached his burrow, a feeling that perhaps all was over for the little dude. After several minutes of imitating his call, a whistle that always brought a response, I knew that our time together was over.
Great photos, by the best know wildlife photographer in Texas. Possibly in the U.S.
(Note And Wyman is NO LEFTIE. He is one of us.)
He does not live far from my home.
Loved the last picture. Thanks for posting it.
Ground squirrels live here in my general neighborhood. Lots of them can be found in Alameda (near the College of Alameda campus) and in the runway areas of the Oakland International Airport.
Great pics and prose. Amazing that our lives can be so enriched by such small creatures, and how much room they take up in our hearts.
Thanks for the smile in spite of the poignant end.
May God guide our course.
Fabulous photos at Wyman’s website! And great stories to go along with them.
Thanks for sharing!
I love this story. I do think it’s important for people to, as the hippies used to say, ‘commune with nature’, because we are part of it and to eliminate it from our lives is to lose something we need.
Great story, thanks for sharing:)
One day he’ll be back together with Fat Earl. One happy day.
Glad you liked the pics. The photographer lives near Benjamin, TX. He is a earthy guy. Not a phony. But has been incredibly successful as a photographer.
My son has been to some of his seminars on photography. They exchange via the web pretty often.
He enjoys and is a part of his natural surroundings. But not a nature worshiper, like the hippies.
No trace of Leftism in him. Essence of TX.
The difference between a rat and a squirrel?
Squirrels have a better PR department.
The difference between a rat and a squirrel is squirrels have a bushy tail.
There’s nothing not conservative about loving and appreciating nature. Or having special animals in your life. I look forward to the day we will live and not have to kill anything to live.
We could do that today, but I am not ready to give up meat. And see nothing wrong with killing animals. It happens every day in nature, without man’s intervention.
My family has always farmed. In this county since 1889, but before that near Austin, before that in AL and GA for much much longer. We recently sold our cattle (small operation) during the horrible 2011 drought. I am planning to replace some of the stock when I find the right breed lines available.
We are in the planting seed business too. Primarily wheat.
I had a good garden last year in spite of the drought and heat (114+ deg. F.). And it would be easy for us to be totally self sufficient. But it really does not make much sense to do that. I like variety of diet.
I did plant 29 fruit trees, blackberry and blueberry bushes, strawberry plants and the usual vegetables last year. Expect to plant more this year, the rainfall has been back to normal the past 3 months.
It is almost impossible to have a proper diet without meat. It is impossible to have an enjoyable diet without meat. For now it’s a necessary condition. I don’t hunt becuae I don’t have to to survive. I would if I had to survive. I still look forward to the day nothing has to die.
All living things die.
Some before their time and by violent means. Others by old age.
Right now that is true.
It won’t be like that forever.
It will be until Jesus comes again.
By the way, you would have enjoyed the video’s I watched this evening when I visited my brother. They were of his favorite animal, a pet badger that he raised on a bottle. Got her before her eyes were open. She thought my brother was her mother.
She was a riot to watch play around his boots and dance a jig for a “slim jim” sausage.
She disappeared one night. My brother is convinced a worker on his house project stole her. The pet badger played with his dog while they were working on the project. (there is more to that story)
I really enjoyed the pictures, Texas Fossil. IMHO, it takes a conservative person to really enjoy the beauty of nature. To see nature and NOT want to change it. Thank you for posting.
That's good to hear. Is this true for the whole area affected by drought?
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