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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
Photo Information
Copyright: Richard Vincent (earthtraveler) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 123 N: 947] (3483)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-29
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): 5 favs. and up - PART 3, Donnas Favorite Wildlife photos! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-29 10:56
Viewed: 6459
Favorites: 8 [view]
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I caught this cutie catnapping. I shot this from my kitchen window cracked open a few inches.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is a tree squirrel that is native to the eastern to midwestern United States and the eastern provinces of Canada. The species name carolinensis refers to the Carolinas, where they were first recorded by zoologists and are still extremely common. The native range of the Eastern Gray Squirrel overlaps with that of the Fox squirrel, with which it is sometimes confused.
A prolific and adaptable species, it has been introduced to and thrives in several regions of the western United States. The Eastern Gray Squirrel has also been introduced to the United Kingdom where it has successfully spread across the country and displaced the native Red Squirrel. There are concerns the same will happen in Italy.

As its name suggests, the Eastern Gray Squirrel's fur is predominantly gray, but it can have a reddish tinge. Its belly is white. They have a large bushy tail. Particularly in urban situations where predation risk is reduced, both albino and melanistic forms of the Eastern Gray Squirrel are quite often found. The melanistic form, which is nearly black all over, is predominant in certain local populations as well as in large parts of southeastern Canada.

Like many members of the family Sciuridae, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is a scatter-hoarder; that is, it hoards food in numerous small caches for recovery later. Some of these caches (especially those made near the site of a sudden abundance of food) are retrieved within hours or days for re-burial in a more secure site. Others are not retrieved until months later. It has been estimated that each squirrel makes several thousand caches each season. The squirrels have very accurate spatial memory for the locations of these caches, and use distant and nearby landmarks to retrieve them. Olfaction is used only once the squirrel is within close range (a few centimeters at most) of the cache site.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel makes a variety of noises, including a loud screeching, a "buck buck buck" sound and a chattering, often followed by "kyukyukyuuuu". They make these noises to communicate with other gray squirrels, and sometimes they make noises during mating.

These squirrels build a type of nest, known as a drey, in the forks of trees. These consist mainly of dry leaves and twigs. Sometimes they will also attempt to build a nest in the attic or exterior walls of houses, often to the great annoyance and frustration of the homeowner.
They also invade bird feeders for millet and sunflower seeds, but safflower is often used instead, as they seem to have no taste for it. Some seed is sold with hot pepper coating, because only mammals such as squirrels can taste its capsaicin, while the birds cannot. Mixing hot pepper flakes into regular birdseed works well as a squirrel deterrent. They have also been known to dig up bulbs from gardens.

Predators include hawks, mustelids, skunks, raccoons, snakes and owls. On occasion, this squirrel may lose part of its tail while escaping a predator.

Aperture priority
ISO 100
F-Stop 3.7
Exp 1/125 sec.
Lens 420 mm equivalent hand held

Thanks for taking a look and sharing your thoughts.

bobcat08, jaycee, Pentaxfriend, azleader, uleko, nglen, eqshannon, CatStevens, cicindela, lise, CeltickRanger, Adanac, Argus, NinaM, Ena, hester, Frieda, SelenE, marhowie, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Thanks for work shop and critiqueearthtraveler 2 01-02 08:16
To azleader: Thanks Steveearthtraveler 3 12-29 14:07
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Richard,

What a amazing shot from this sleeping beauty. Sharp and a lot of details. Very nice natural colors. Your compo is very special. A good choice. This little squirrel must have a very cold day. Very interesting notes. Thanks for that info. Regards and TFS BOB

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-12-29 11:24]

Hi Richard,

What an eye you have to notice this adorable Squirrel fast asleep. I have never seen anything like it. Must be a true Minnesotan (?) to be able to do this in the cold snow. You captured him perfectly with wonderful natural colors and details. Of course the closed eye is the eye-catcher.


Hi Richard,

You're very lucky to see these cute animals from your kitchen window
Beautiful compo with great sharpnes and fine details
lovely colors and pose

TFS and a Happy and Healty 2008

This is a well conceived and perfectly executed photograph. The sharpness is superb! It is a fantastic picture and you've included a very good note containing additional information.

It does have some color noise in the soft background, but that could easily be removed.

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  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-12-29 12:31]

Hi Richard!

Wonderful sleeping squirrel and wonderful shot with great sharp and detail

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-12-29 12:43]

Hello Richard,
What a lovely capture of this sleeping Squirrel with its tail as a blanket! I bet it was cold! I like the composition very much, the details are sharp and colours beautiful.
Very well observed!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-12-29 13:10]

Hi Richard. A strange place for a nap. You Have captured a fine well composed shot . good detail and natural colours. you have done well with the bright kight from the snow. well done TFS. good notes too.
A Happy New Year To You.

Hello Richard,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful sleeping beauty!
very well captured in total sharpness, vivid colour and details of him
nicely composed!
well done

Wonderful image Richard which I have just added to my favorites...I will write you email...and let me tell you it is a rare capture and in this weather...done so well...very nice...very very nice.

Hi Richard,

Amazing capture.
Excellent POV and detail.
Lovely picture.
Congrats and TFS

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  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2007-12-29 14:10]

Hello Richard,
fantastic scene captured, beautiful picture
great sharpness and natural colors
wonderful work

Hi Richard!
This one really looks tired! ;>
Very interesting and original capture! And you kept details and sharpness in professional way.
TFS and all the best in 2008!

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  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2007-12-29 17:05]

Hi Richard,
This is so adorable! You were so lucky to capture such a sweet moment. Great sharpness and point of view, wonderful composition.
Very well done.

hello Richard

waht a nice winter time pic, great luminosity on all the image,
excellent sharp details on the squirrel, the way he is sleeping
it is giving a tenderness to this image, TFS


hello richard,
what a lovely shot, you have captured a nice moment here with a great pose, this one looks very cute, liked the pov and the composition, the image is sharp with good details,
well done,

wish you a very happy new year 2008,

tfs & regards

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-12-30 1:18]

Great capture, Richard!
Squirrels are usually so active and to catch on taking a nap is a rare moment: this individual looks quite healthy too.
Technically excellent and set in a fine wintery composition on a branch.
Well done and thanks for sharing this scoop!
With best wishes for 2008 to you and your family,

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-12-30 2:00]

Hello Richard,
Wow...a perfect winter shot. Amazing colours with perfect details. The subject, the sleeping squirrel, is fascinating. Fantastic composition, POV and DOF.

Hi Richard,
What a wonderful shot taken from your "sweet home" when this little guy was freezing!
Nice colour, sharp details, just perfect.
Thanks for sharing this beauty with us
Happy New Year

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-12-30 4:03]

Hello Richard,
What an adorable image, so peaceful and tranquil looking. The image is razor sharp and with a well handled exposure, Thanks and Happy New Year Richard.

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  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2007-12-30 5:25]

Hi Richard, what a wonderful moment to capture, I just love it so much. There's so much tenderness and vulnerability in this one, you really captured this squirrel wonderfully. Moreover, I love the branches filled with snow repeated in the movement of the tail. Nice composition as well. Thank you!


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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-12-30 8:44]

Hello Vincent ! A perfect catch of that sleeping Squirrel, incredibly sharp details and the exposure is really good. Well done my friend, have a wonderful new year ! Thanks,


Hello Richard,
Splendid shot technicaly perfect of course, Excellent timing shot, I realy like the attitude of this beautifull squirrel, he is so cute
Happy new year my friend

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  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-12-31 2:30]

Hi Richard,
Wonderful shot and you have freezed an amazing moment. It indeed is a sleeping beauty and I like it had folded up its tail and seems to be absolutely relaxed. Great lighting and exposure and the natural winter ambience is perfectly presented. Excellent POV and DOF. Very nicely composed too. Kudos. TFS.

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  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-12-31 5:19]

Hi Richard,
That's a really sleeping beauty!
Great composition, good sharpness!

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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-12-31 5:35]

Hi Richard

Ahhhh that is so lovely :) Perfect title for this shot. Amazing details and perfect exposure. This is very well taken.

All the best for 2008



This is a superb capture Richard... just wonderful. The composition and the pose couldn't be better. I did a quick workshop to remove a bit of the chromatic aberration that your camera added (the extra cyans and magenta halos)

I hope 2008 is full of wonderful photo opportunities for you!

Evelynn : )

Hello Richard,
Oh my goodness, a sleeping squirrel?? What a beautiful image. Feel kinda bad for him though, I'ld want to put a cozy blanket on him!! I love this!

How sweet! And what an amazing capture! You have done a great job framing him, and it helps the composition a lot that his tail is up and over his body. It's a gorgeous shot, Richard. Happy new year!



ooo.. how cute.. very nice photo. picture is full of details and is very natural and peacefull :)

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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-01-01 19:09]

Hello Richard

This shot is neat.I would not have thought they doze off in a tree like that.
Excellent focus and sharp details.
The fur texture and colour is wonderful,even though they are grey squirrels the dominate colour of these guys in my area is black.Finding grey ones is more difficult,making them harder to get photos of.
The POV is very good,the sleepy squirrel is well placed in the frame.
I like the winter scene.


Hi Richard,
What an unusual picture. I don't believe I've ever caught a squirrel napping. They are usually so alert.
Sharp photo with great colors and framing.

Hi Richard,

I'm not a big fan of squirrels but your lovely capture here caught my eyes. I never saw one sleeping before, you caught a very unusual moment, congratulations and thanks for sharing this peaceful image.


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  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-01-08 7:21]

Hi Richard,
Looks so cute :o) I liked the pose you captured a lot. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Richard,
Very beautiful image it is, and sleeping she appears to be :)
I think you nailed this one, everything looks top-notch to me..Even the centered comp works well with the branches about her..

Bonjour Richard
Trop mignon cette prise, excellente netteté, couleurs et lumière, très beau sujet... ne le reveillez surtout pas !
Amicalement Robi

Hallo Richard
To cute for words. Really impressive! Superb and a lovely shot of this cute little guy. You have managed the exposure well, and the snow in the background adds a special finishing touch to this beautiful image. If he was not sleeping I would of have said that this one has a lovely pose for you! The overall presentation is excellent. Thanks for sharing.Very interesting note, thanks again.
Kind regards

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  • bidisz (8)
  • [2008-04-26 2:55]

Piêkne zdjêcie! Super moment i niez³a kompozycja. Great shot!

Aaawww!! Hi Richard,

Cute shot of this sleeping squirrel!
It deserves it's title!
Great DOF and good sharp details.
The composition is well done.
Good blurry BG.

Extremely well done,


Hello Richard,
Nicely done...
Moody image...

Calibration Check