That half of the year, well, we'll never be friends

Black squirrel portrait, oil on canvas, painting, Shannon Reynolds
Local Character Study #5 Black Squirrel with Granny Smith Apple, oil on canvas board, 8" x 8"
My winter-long love affair with the backyard squirrels is officially over.  As in Leslie Feist's lyric from Gatekeeper, this is the half of the year when we'll never be friends.  It's the half of the year when the cute fluffy animals struggling to survive the bitter winter and posing as ready models around my bird feeder transform themselves into wanton destroyers of beauty.  No tulip or magnolia or crabapple blossom is safe from the ruthless biters.  It's the season of anticipation when, when instead of flowers, alas, there are only bare stems and strewn petals. Ugh.
Eastern grey squirrel portrait, painting,  oil on canvas, Shannon Reynolds
Local Character Study #4 Eastern Grey Squirrel Looking Out, oil on canvas board, 8" x 8"
The two admittedly cute squirrels in this post were painted with snow still on the ground.  Future squirrel portraits, at least those painted in the next six months, will be far less flattering.  If I wanted to be truly realistic, they might even have mange.

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