Squirrel Imprint

There were pine trees outside the house were I grew up in Mölnlycke and occasionally you could see red squirrels playing in them. Later the trees were cut down to make way for a new house next doors and a better road. I really missed those squirrels.

Maybe that's why I'm still so fond of squirrels. I know it's true what I said back in 2007: "Everyday I see a squirrel is a happy day!" Since that was written after a trip to Brookfield outside Atlanta, I suspect that what I really referred to were chipmunks (in Swedish "jordekorre" which translates into "earth squirrel" and I know that they are not squirrels).

However, it could have been the Eastern Gray Squirrel, although I have seen more of them in the UK than in the US. I remember seeing them in Regent's Park on one of my frequent visits to London. According to research, the spread throughout the UK is still very much the result of human intervention.
From London Spring 2008
During a trip to Kingston in Canada in 2006, I came across a black squirrel for the first time. I didn't have a decent camera at that time (although I used my at that time advanced mobile phone to get some snaps of the city), why I have to rely on memory.

Squirrels are often associated with hoarding or in a more positive way, making sure you have enough when/if bad times hit you. I recently told my uncle that I'm the squirrel when it comes to saving things from the family past, hoping that sometime my now young relatives will become interested in them and have the space to harbour them.

In Swedish we sometimes talk about being stuck in an "ekorrhjul" (squirrel wheel=treadmill). I try not to think in that way, although lately it has been a challenge and I've felt more like U2's "Stuck in a Moment".

The squirrel Ratatoskr played a role in Norse mythology as a messenger between the eagle at the top of the world tree Yggdrasil and the dragon dwelling at the roots. Apparently it was more into gossip and saying nasty things. Not a good role model!

I still like them though, and I put up a special feeder to provide nuts during the winter. For Christmas I bought a coaster with a squirrel and a "tomte" at the Christmas Fair at Tjolöholm Castle. The painter Jan Bergerlind is a master at capturing the right "old times" feeling!

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