So while I was up in Minnesota this past week visiting my long time friend Laurel, one sunny morning without warning, and for the better part of a day, we were suddenly adopted by a baby wild squirrel. Now if you've ever had a similar experience with wild animals you know what a special privilege and honor it is when a wild animal decides you're ok and hangs out with you. It was only a short trip intended simply to celebrate my 40th birthday with a good friend but needless to say all plans ground to a halt when the squirrel showed up.
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He was incredibly talkative as he cautiously approached us carefully darting back and forth, which process took about 30 minutes, so we named him "Chatterbox". "Chats" for short, or more formally, like say for a government form or a credit card application, "Chatsworth". We spent about 5 hours with Chats that day and about halfway in it occurred to me to go back inside and get my camera & flash so we could get some decent pictures.
Chats was the life of the party as he crawled all over us, up and down my pant legs and running all over Laurel's back. He crawled all over me as I set up my light stand, mini soft-box and remote flash and seemed completely fascinated by it all. I could barely stop myself from launching into a detailed explanation on lighting for him. By the end of the day, poor little Chats was pretty exhausted and he started falling asleep in the grass beside us. He crawled up on Laurel and fell asleep on her back and finally he simply curled up in her hands got comfy and caught a nap for about twenty minutes or so.
When we finally tore ourselves away to go have dinner, Chats nearly followed us out of the backyard hopping alongside, but then when we hesitated he surprisingly quickly got the idea and skittered off to a safe spot under the deck. I saw Chats once more the next morning from inside the kitchen through the window as he hopped about in a neighbors yard. Then I left to come back to LA the next day.
Laurel says she hasn't seen Chats since that day we left him behind. But she also says that something's been eating the 10 in-shell peanuts she's been putting out next to the deck in her backyard every morning before leaving for work. I keep suggesting she needs to do a more convincing job of going out into her backyard and acting like a nut.
We love, love, love you, Chatsworth! Wherever you may be.