Tom Lybeck Original A Tough Nut to Crack

A Tough Nut to Crack

How am I ever going to paint this guy?

That is what I was thinking when I saw this tufted, or tassel-eared, squirrel watching me just off my hiking path. In nature he stands out because of his dark body against all the pine needles that surround him.

Commonly known as the Abert’s squirrel, this wasn’t the first time I encountered one in the woods. It seems they like to hang around the Ponderosa Pine trees, feeding on the cones, buds and twigs, whatever they can get their hands on. I had this thankful thought, “If I can capture one on canvas it will be a delight.”

They chatter and throw things at you if they think you’re an intruder. Or they quickly leave the area. I kind of got the feeling that’s what they wanted me to do, so I tipped my hat and continued on my way.