Tag Archives: squirrel

The Untold Story of Sumo Squirrel

One of the greatest joys placing animals in your art, especially photography, is the fact that you never quite know what to expect. Such is the case of my latest creation titled Sumo Squirrel.

Anyone who continuously works with animals knows that they are living creatures with their own personalities and personable quirks.   Sumo Squirrel proves this to be true. Most squirrels are to skittish to spend anytime near the ground while you casually approach them.   Unless of course, they learn that humans are an excellent way to obtain a free meal.

To acquire an easy tasty treat, most animals will overcome their cautious natures and approach humans eagerly. This behavior leads to problems with wild animals associating a human with food.

The danger of harm to both the human involved and the animal in question only gets more so.   People tend to think that animals eat the same food we do, a dangerous notion that can not only make an animal sick but could lead to death. On the hand, the animal can also become quite frightened by a sudden movement of a person and result in literally biting the hand trying to feed it.

Now, when a squirrel, a little rodent equally full of curiosity and the understanding that everything will naturally try to eat it, learns of free food then having a treat versus being the treat is momentarily tipped to one side.

Such is the case with this little guy. Obviously, this squirrel has seen and enjoyed many easy free meals.  This guy watched me approach his tree and quickly jumped down on the ground in front of me.   I was not expecting to face a squirrel. In fact I wasn’t even looking for a squirrel. So, I stopped in my tracks to gauge what the commotion in front of me was all about.

Sumo Squirrel
“None Shall Pass”

That’s when this little guy suddenly struck a pose. I’m not sure if he was trying to intimidate me or putting on a little show for his meal, but there he stood squatting on his hind legs with his little arms out in front like a sumo wrestler at the beginning of a match.

Unfortunately for him, I don’t feed the animals so I didn’t have any food. So we stared at each other, again like a sumo wrestler waiting for the opponent to make the first move.


Frisky Squirrel : Facebook Boots Jerry Salazar

This squirrel with his tongue sticking out at the camera seems more amused by my presence than threatened

Happy Squirrel
Happy Squirrel

by it.   It could be said that the same attitude is happening with Jerry Salazar the now Facebook famous art critic of New York Magazine.

Mr. Salazar is a noted art critic in the New York art world and as his job suggests, he has found that there are many people whom are not looking out for his personal welfare.   His recent claim to fame is that he is now suspended from Facebook for complaints regarding his posting of some pornographic artworks. Well, that’s not quite fair really.

When one envisions the term pornographic a whole deluge of rather vulgar, profane, and even down right shocking images of naked bodies comes to mind. But that is not what happened.  Before I read the article from the New York Times about his inappropriate online behavior, I admit I expected to see the personal fall and end of a career for an established professional in his field.


What met my gaze was rather shocking, but not for the reasons you may think. The images he showed and published are mainly from medieval manuscripts, Egyptian tomb scenes and the now notoriously amorous ancient roman brothels. I became confused.


What is this? Has Facebook lost all sense of reason? A man who is a notorious member of the New York art scene gets sacked off Facebook because he posted pictures that are found in art history and archaeology books?   Really?

Digging a little deeper on Mr. Salazar’s twitter feed, I looked for the possible reason for Facebook’s issue. The fact that his Facebook account has experienced a mass outpouring of support from his fans to the point of one not really being able to get a grip on the truth behind the article did not help.  In any case, I went to Twitter and if Mr. Salazar’s twitter account is an indicative of what was originally discovered on his Facebook page I can understand why Facebook acted the way it did. Not all the pictures posted were necessarily ancient or even of historical context nor used in an educational context.

No, it seems Mr. Salazar did not use the pictures in a historical or educational manner but rather in a satirical commentary pointing fingers and ruffling feathers at the art establishment. Finally, someone got his or her underwear twisted and complained. Facebook investigated and bam. Suspension. Mr. Salazar has even admitted that some of the pictures even bothered him.  Why then post?

Now, it may seem that I’m condemning him and taking the side of Facebook. I’m not.  While it’s true I find some of the images used outside of the historical artistic context to be of a dubious taste, I also see the side of his fans who claim that whomever complained should have just unfollowed him and left it at that. While self-imposed censorship might be a suggestively wise move when it comes to artwork such as this, the use of corporate censorship is just not needed.

It is interesting to note that by creating his little commentaries and satiric uses of historical art to satisfy his own purpose he has, perhaps unwittingly, stepped into the realm of the satiric artist.   It is now his “work” and it’s meaning being criticized on a larger stage.   I imagine going from the critic to the critiqued must be a bitter pill to swallow.

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On the Post Being Chased by Zombies

Oh, it started off well enough, his decision to run along the fence.  Indeed a fence is like a road. It’s a career path, a college major, and a chosen lifestyle. A smooth, yet narrow, path to follow.  Taking one step in front of the other is the only thing required.   Walking on a fence planned, it’s easy,  and thinking is not necessary.


This squirrel was on this fence; he was scampering along his  path happy as any other squirrel.  He was always told that this was the way you’re supposed to live your life.  You would find happiness if you just stayed on this path.


He had worked in that oak tree gathering nuts for many seasons, always taking this path home at the end of the day.  Running to his little squirrel home, his squirrel family and his hobbies.  Mundane, boring, but safe.


But this faithful day it is different, there is a monster near the safe and narrow fence.  He stops fast. Daring not to move. His little brain spinning with the fear that the safe fence isn’t safe anymore.  He soon realizes that to continue means he won’t make it past the monster.


Now, every squirrel knew if the monster caught you, you’d be eaten and discarded , or worse, you would actually become a monster yourself.  A horrible undead zombie squirrel. Cursed to walk the fence for eternity destroying any other happy squirrel that came near.  A blind raging thing, cursed to wallow in it’s own putrid stupidity and base desires.


The squirrel has the urge to jump off the fence, but he hesitates.  The fence was so safe. It’s not fair!  All of his thought out plans are being suddenly torn and dashed against the rocks of the reality.


If he jumps, he ends up in uncharted territory and he may never find his oak tree again.  Horror of horrors, he could find himself living in a cottonwood tree on a different fence!  All of his certifications of squirrel of the month and his degree in tree climbing from Nut Gather University will be void.  They won’t matter.


He stands in shocked disbelief, stuck on the post.  What will he do? Time is running out.  The zombies are coming.  What would you do?


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Stop and Smell the Flowers


This is the flower that sings

In the garden.

That rises to bloom each spring

And disappears by summer breath.


A moment I spend

In the garden.

Tracing the still scent from browning leaves

Watching people walk and view.


What they missed

In the garden.

When even the squirrels

Take time to be…


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