Squirrel at home

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Squirrel in a knothole, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.


The story: More than a hole in a tree

Every time I look at this image I smile. Maybe it’s because the squirrel seems to be smiling at me – see its lower lip? Or maybe it’s how the squirrel’s tiny front paws are crossed beneath its chin. Or maybe its just that he looks so at home in that knothole.

Whatever it is, I really like this image.

I shot it while photo-hiking in Sharon Woods Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio, on an overcast December morning in 2006. I had seen the squirrel hanging around this tree deep in the woods the previous week so I set up about 20 feet away and focused on the knothole to see if anyone was home.

After a few minutes the squirrel stuck his head out to have a look. He ducked back in about a minute later but by then I had grabbed a few shots. 

I was using a Canon EOS 20D with my big lens, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L and a Canon 1.4x teleconverter on board, which gave me an effective focal length of 840mm.  The exposure was 1/400th of a second at f/5.6 and ISO1600.