11 June 2008

Into the woods

I think of them now. I think of them now, most especially, because the sun has set on their first day back into the wild. They have not lived in the trees like this since late last summer, as babies. Then suddenly, somehow their lives were interrupted and they landed in human care.

Now they are back in the wild, older, stronger, healthier and with muscles to carry them capably from branch to branch, trunk to trunk.

Two girls - both orphaned and having suffered the loss of siblings - and a boy - found by himself and cared for alone at first. All were brought to me as older juveniles and out of this ragtag trio, we fashioned a new family, an ad hoc litter of squirrels. They spent the ensuing cold season - what we rehabbers call "overwintering" - with us.

Today I carried them in a small holding cage into the woods and the door was opened on the rest of their lives. I have seen this dozens of times before but it never fails to stir me.

I think of them now, looking out past my office windows into the darkness, and I wish them a good first sleep, the first of many to come.

I wish I had brought a camera but perhaps it does not matter. When I close my eyes tonight, I will think of them again. And I will see them.


Anonymous said...

First, congratulations on your release! I haven't had to overwinter squirrels myself, but I'm sure it's a real sense of joy to know they finally get to go "home," which is what we're all working so hard to achieve.

Second, thanks so much for coming to visit my blog and leave a comment. I'm thrilled to connect with other squirrel fans, especially fellow rehabbers.

I'm about to start adding in a list of recommended links, and I'll definitely make sure Grey and Red is there!

The Mama Squirrel

Anonymous said...

This sounds bittersweet

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog. Some weird things, probably of no significance -

1) My only cousin is the postmistress of Squirrel Cove on Cortez Island, BC

2) "Essence of a Squirrel" was the gist of my inroduction to poetry when I taught "English" in my former life....I know....

3) In spite of what Carrie says, squirrels are not just rats with cuter outfits

Anonymous said...

It's the most difficult form of love: being totally nonpossessive.

Perhaps have an extra round of nuts for those staying, the ones being tended and the ones visiting.


squirrelmama said...

Right you are, Chet. I miss them but they are where they belong.

~Banjo said...

This was very moving... As your lil trio snuggleup for dreamtime I'm sure they think of you too.