I have gone squirrel hunting, with the blue ball point pen and with other tools, stalking squirrels using notebooks of various sizes, hunting night and day. I am training my squirrels for the hunt. I cleaned the window near the favorite tree so clean that the glass disappears. Such clarity unnerves the young squirrels, but they cannot refuse their noses, and they show up anyway. I put food that squirrels find irresistible on the sill.
I aim the camera and start snapping the pictures. You might think the proximity would catch some wonderful close-ups, but they fidget quite a lot because they see me poised too close, so I must train them even more. The best shots, for now, are the ones I get from the kitchen window where hungry squirrels sit patiently a few feet away, looking iconic-ally cute.
I’m training them to associate the camera with such impossibly tasty food — pistachios! Who can resist? And I am learning their wonderful squirrel forms, the agile hands, the glistening fur, the sturdy rodent bodies, drawing them again and again.
I have a very ancient fellow that some might recognize who helps me learn.
In time I hope to draw some of them from life, when they will have gotten used to me, when nothing separates us but the empty air. But I get ahead of myself. You don’t count your squirrels before you’ve hunted and tamed them.
Here’s one of the models, himself.
Who knows what’s reflected in his beautiful eye? Look closely and you might see me!