Where the squirrels never sleep…


I don’t believe in reincarnation but if I did I would want to come back as a squirrel. Not just any squirrel mind, a squirrel from a particular location – Grosvenor Park, Chester, UK. As grey squirrels up and down the land are being culled by landowners or driven out by the new, even harder, black squirrels (just as the grey squirrels ousted the reds) the squirrels of Grosvenor Park have got it made.

This Victorian park in the heart of the city is Shangri-La for grey squirrels. No predators, a huge tree-lined open space to frolic in and food. Lots and lots and lots of food. You see it seems that it is now a tradition for the people of Chester to ‘go to the park and feed the squirrels’. Everybody does it. The kiosks in the park now sell nuts so that visitors can feed the squirrels; many bring their own.

This means that the squirrels of Grosvenor Park have no need to hibernate. Every day they have a nut-based takeaway delivered right to the door and never have to pay. There is so much food that squirrels sometimes can’t be bothered to take it. They are too full. They know that another nut delivery will be along shortly. They are awake all through the winter, they will feed from your hand, they will run up your leg to steal the nutty goodness from your pockets. And what’s more, they are fat. These are not the lean, rangy squirrels that you typically in English woodland. These are plump squirrels. They are carrying weight. Elvis Presley would think he has died and gone to heaven if he wasn’t already there (and if it existed) [Note: for those readers who do not understand the Elvis reference I urge you to seek out the documentary ‘The Burger and the King’ which details the life of the king of rock n’ roll through the food he ate… and yes sqiuirrel, deep fried, was on the menu]

This being the time of year for resolutions – and LOOK a fifth blog post in 5 days – I have resolved to lose some weight and get fit this year. Day 5 of the rolling blog, Day 5 of no alcohol, Day 5 of going to the gym and Day 5 of no chocolate. Apart from the blog its bloody awful. Which is why I envy the squirrels of Grosvenor Park and salute their fatty furry evolution. The day of the squirrel is upon us…

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About Mark

I am a 43-year-old amateur photographer from Chester, Cheshire UK. I took up digital photograpy a couple of years ago after hitting 40. See it as my mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, unlike, say, forming a band, having a tattoo or buying a motorcycle I have come to realise that the particular hobby I have chosen as a means to escape the drudgery of the day job is probably one of the most expensive. On May 12th 2009 I spent a marvellous informative day with professional photographer Stewart Randall. This has prompted me to take my photography more seriously and, although I don't expect it to lead to a career change, maybe sell or license some of my images so that I can fund my hobby. I hope you like the images I post and please feel free to comment. All constructive criticism is welcomed. This blog will document my attempts to get to grips with the digital medium and see if I can get some wider recognition for my images. View all posts by Mark

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