Squirrels seem to be everywhere I go. I'm so used to seeing them when hiking that it actually strikes me as odd when I don't. Despite being common, I don't have many pictures of them. A good example of taking things for granted, I suppose. I'll have to watch out for them and see if I can get some fun pictures of them this summer.
The two squirrel pictures I have here were taken in Joshua Tree National Park in one particularly rocky area where squirrels would perch at the top any unoccupied rock.
Some things to keep in mind if you ever go out with the express purpose of trying to photograph squirrels.
- If you're looking for action shots, then head out late in the winter. This is when the mating season begins and is when there will be males chasing females on the ground and through the trees. You're obviously going to need a fast camera and your best chances of a good shot will be on bright days.
- Squirrels are most active two to three hours after sunrise during the summer months. You won't see much of them in the afternoon as they rest, but they will come out again two hours before sunset. Long before it gets dark, the will retreat to its nest.
- In the winter, squirrel sightings are even rarer with all activity being done between dawn and mid-day. For the most part, squirrels will then remain in their nests until the following day.
- While in a tree, when a squirrel senses danger, its first instinct is to stand motionless. This is a good thing if you can get your camera ready quickly. If on the ground, the squirrel may instead run to the nearest tree. To make matters worse, it will hide on the far side of the trunk and remain out of view.
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