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Red Squirrel
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The other morning I saw a red squirrel on the neighbor's deck. At first I figured I must be mistaken. Red squirrels aren't common in this part of the northeast, or at least they don't commonly live where they can be seen. On a few occasions when I was a kid I spotted one in the big maple trees in front of my grandparents' house. Aside from that I've never caught a glimpse of one around here.

As I stared out the window the squirrel raced along the railing then leapt to the branch of a pine and vanished into the boughs. There was no doubt of its russet coat. And it was too small for a fully grown grey squirrel.

I haven't had a glimpse of the red squirrel since, although it must be living nearby, and probably others as well. I suppose there's a lot that goes on in the woods around the house we never know about even if we can call up the news from the far corners of the world with a mouse-click.

Mary noticed a bobcat going by a year ago. I've never seen a bobcat in the wild but they're out there, doing whatever it is bobcats do, even while I type.

I have glimpsed foxes, both red and gray and a couple years ago a huge black bear rambled around the backyard in the middle of the afternoon. He was after the bird seed in the neighbor's feeder. It's odd that an animal the size of a bear would consider bird seed a treat. I hope if I meet any of our wildlife when I'm hauling the trash down to the road just after dawn it's the red squirrel and not the bear.

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