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A Squirrel Hunt Story - For Rupert.
Lens: 55-300 plastic Camera: K100D Super Photo Location: Adelaide 
Posted By: Jessesdad, 07-23-2012, 12:35 AM

So, I went out to try and shoot some squirrels, like everyone else on this forum. It's challenging here in Australia, as we don't have squirrels, but I thought I'd get some at the zoo maybe - just to prove we're part of the civilised world.
It was a tough day. There were squirrels everywhere but luck, misguidance and mischance seemed to get between me and the squirrel every time. Maybe it was because I had the K100D Super? Maybe they don't like the kit 55-300 because of the extra plastic. It's obviously a poor combo.

So, I started the day asking the keeper where the squirrels were. Helpfully he pointed me to this one...

I was so thrilled! Anyway, I showed it to some fellow zoo goers and they laughed a lot. Seems the keeper had been having a joke and this wasn't a squirrel.

I decided to Google a squirrel picture on my phone. While I was waiting I took a picture of an acorn, hoping to attract the squirrels with it....

Now I knew I was set to go. I started looking high because I know squirrels live in trees. Not being that tall I asked this guy for help - but he wouldn't talk.

Typical stuck-up, arty-type. Squirrels were beneath his dignity it seemed. And for a moment I thought that squirrels were below him. Looking down I found this guy - and he said he was a squirrel! Oh, joy!

I started to explain to him how much I 'd been wanting to shoot a squirrel and he finally broke down and told me that he was really just a squirrel impersonator. Apparently a lot of Meerkats make holiday money that way. At least he was honest. Seemed like a nice guy. So, I moved on, always hoping, and came across these mother-of-pearl squirrels in a treehouse. But they wouldn't agree to having their photo taken.

They're from a foreign country with major political problems and they just can't have their faces on the web for fear of reprisals because of their defection.

Then - finally - I saw a real squirrel. Looked just like the one on Google. Happy to have its picture taken. I was about to take a portrait and..... this bloody Lion ate it!

I mean, one minute it was posing as Marilyn Monroe in 'Some Like it Hot' and the next it's been swallowed. It just wasn't my day. I sat down and started to cry and this really nice Sun Bear came over looking really concerned and offered to share his lunch.

He pointed me in the direction of some animals he thought might be squirrels, but I'm not sure.

They didn't deny that they were squirrels but they didn't admit that they were and I was getting a little fixated by now. I decided that maybe I could make the day worthwhile by pretending I had some squirrel shots. So...I took this picture of a stick-squirrel...

..and this one of a shifty-eyed squirrel (related to Otis he said).

But I knew I wasn't fooling anyone - not even me. I took to asking around again and this guy checked with his friends...

...but all they had to say was, "What colour is a squirrel's butt". That wasn't much help. So I went to ask the Mandril - who looked pretty wise (albeit a bit nutty)...

..but got really quite aggressive when I asked him what colour a squirrel's butt was. (I thought I was being culturally sensitive).

Some people have no patience. I moved on. This next bird had seen a squirrel but it had been a bad experience.

The squirrel had mistaken her headpiece for a nut and gnawed at it. She didn't seem all that keen on seeing any more squirrels. Except dead ones. She wasn't talking to her neighbours either. The Pelicans...

...had taken to wearing orange 'Save the Squirrel' bands on their legs in protest at the Cassowary. I mean...does the fighting ever cease? Why can't we all just get along?

Anyway, finally I found my squirrel. Albeit disguised as a Panda.

He said it was for safety. I guess that Cassowary is pretty scary. What convinced me of his story was his capacity for pretty slick dance moves...

...high fives...

...and the classic, winning, squirrel smile.

Unfortunately, just as we were having a nice chat, the cassowary turned up and the squirrel ran and hid in a pile of grass. Bad move! Disaster!!!

Hungry Hippo just doesn't cover it. The squirrel never stood a chance.

And thus - tight and true as a drum - ends my tale.

And that's some tail!
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07-23-2012, 02:26 AM   #2
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Very nicely done. Some really good shots in there too.

07-23-2012, 05:26 AM   #3
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Great story and pics - enjoyed it very much!
07-23-2012, 05:36 AM   #4
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Enjoyed the saga and pictures.Well conceived.---charliezap

07-23-2012, 05:45 AM   #5
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When I stop laughing at the story-line I will go back and simply enjoy a wonderful series of pictures. This was a great way to start the day.
07-23-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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haha wonderful narrative and shots. You may not have squirrels but you sure have some exotic creatures !
07-23-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks to you all for the nice comments.
I've always enjoyed Rupert's strange squirrel obsession and rather than do a, "I went to the zoo with my son's class as a volunteer helper" story, I thought I'd have some fun.
I'd normally take my K-r and lenses but I decided to take the K100D super and just the 55-300. I was pretty impressed with old and cheap camera technology. It's a wonderful lens.
Still looking for a squirrel though. There were none at our zoo!
07-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #8
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It looks to me that all that bad old plastic did a pretty good job of getting some good sharp photos. You should be ashamed of yourself for using that stuff.

I have a K100D Super that I like very much. I wouldn't give it up at all.

07-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thanks - and agreed scalewag - the 100D Super is a fine bit of kit. Nothing to be ashamed of.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why there is no thumbnail showing for this thread? Too much choice for the thread-bot!?
06-11-2014, 11:10 PM   #10
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Ummmmmmmmm, I've been "around" for about 3 years now (back with Pentax, that is, ever since I "graduated" from bridge cameras in July 2011), but I JUST "discovered" Rupert in a post just made today (yesterday, maybe, at this hour) in that OTHER Pentax forum where he was banned for making too many squirrel posts. Someone posted a picture of a gray squirrel and said it was "for that squirral guy" (not sure WHY they spelled squirrel RIGHT the first time, but WRONG when they referred to him), and then others (like me), asked to whom he was referring and folks who'd been around longer than me filled me in and told me to Google it, and I ended up here after reading a REALLY LONG article written about him and his cohorts in October 2008 in The Observer about their attempts to eradicate invasive gray squirrels from England.

Trust me, where I live gray squirrels are NATIVE, not an exotic invasive like they are in England, but they're STILL quite often an invasive nuisance. They're PIGS. I put up feeders for my birds and they'll destroy them, if they can, to eat all the food in one day. So I put up squirrel-proof feeders, but with most they still find a way. So I put safflower seed in one (which has gotten WAY more expensive than it used to be since safflower oil got more popular). Squirrels used to NOT eat that, but this year's crop has decided THEY like it! Ya can't win. I've taken a few pot shots at 'em with a low-powered CO2-powered rapid-fired BB pistol (won't kill 'em, just sting) a few times, but I really don't want 'em gone, just to TONE IT DOWN a bit. But they're like WILD TEENAGERS. They know only ONE SPEED -- WIDE OPEN! I let my little dog, Tater Tot, out and he'll chase 'em up a tree. They'll get about 10 feet up on a branch and just TELL HIM OFF... chattering to beat the band. He just ignores them and runs down to the edge of the fence by the road to chase something bigger, like a car. I've seen the RESULTS of him catching one that wasn't paying attention once or twice. He's only 15 pounds, but he's half Jack Russell (other half is Chihuahua). Trust me. It wasn't pretty (the squirrel, I mean). I didn't realize what a killer instinct he had until I once brought home a little toy rat that was battery powered. It looks A LOT like a rat, except it just has a sort of rolling ball under it that rolls it around in circles, and it has these eyes with little lights behind them that flash off and on. Man, I turned that thing on and set it on the floor and HE WENT APE!!! I couldn't get it away from him. He took it under a low cabinet so low I don't know HOW he got under there, and he chewed on it and growled and grumbled until the batteries ran down. When he FINALLY lost interest and I retrieved it, ALL the "fur" was off it, EVERYTHING that made it look like a RAT was gone. It was no longer "functional," just a sort of big blob of plastic... Funny as heck, really!

I wonder what Rupert would give me for Tater Tot?

PS -- NICE SHOTS at the zoo. You have some really STRANGE LOOKING SQUIRRELS there in Australia, don't you? My favorite was the "stick squirrel." Squirrel on a stick would seem to be right up Rupert's alley, huh?

Last edited by JeffAHayes; 06-11-2014 at 11:13 PM. Reason: add stuff
06-12-2014, 06:05 AM   #11
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Too funny!
06-12-2014, 08:24 AM   #12
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This write-up made my day!
06-12-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting... I feel like mailing your zoo a few squirrels. As Yogi Berra would say..

If you don't have any, that's why you need some.
06-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #14
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Great series with some terrific commentary!
06-12-2014, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Great shots and story!
edit: Two year old thread, fyi!

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