dVerse — Poetics 432 — Squirrel Hunting in the Mountains

Kids paint a wintery background then cut a squirrel from painted paper. An easy winter art project for kids. Glitter optional!

Armed with a Canon’s telefoto,
sturdy-soled hikers, and a canteen
I march forward, led by sun-crackled
cottonwood and half-ground beech.
Squirrel hunting in the mountains
means tracking under treelines,
craning for oak-nest
and pine-needled apples.
Mid-winter Sol stirs their bellies;
groggy they crawl, head first.
Aboriginal-headed, the many-pelted,
silvered, burnt-oranged, blacked
coat warms me, but wool works
as I trudge white tracks back
to build a mighty slide show.

image link leads to instructions for building your own winter squirrel collage

Sarah is today’s host for dVerse‘ Poetics.  Sarah says:
I want you to choose from one of these titles:

  • Travelling in the wilderness
  • She said if a red fox had crossed somewhere, that area was safe
  • They say only the south wind flattens grass
  • We are teachers to our grandchildren
  • Lead dogs are very smart
  • Squirrel hunting in the mountains
  • A story of when the ice detached and the people floated away.

All of these lines come from “Surfacing” by Kathleen Jamie…Jamie herself has borrowed these lines. They are headings from the works of Ann Fienup-Riordan, who has spent her professional life gathering the stories of the people of Quinhagak. 

56 Comments Add yours

  1. I just salvaged my father’s spotting scope from my parent’s home, and consider to start digiscoping… so watch out for squirrels and geese 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Oh forgot about that pic with the heron. Looking forward to your future digiscoping 🙂

      Like

  2. Lucy says:

    I loved these lines so much:

    “Mid-winter Sol stirs their bellies;
    groggy they crawl, head first.
    Cavewoman-headed, the many-pelted,
    silvered, burnt-oranged, blacked
    coat warms me…”

    You are a fantastic poet, the level of description in your work stuns me always. The sheer depth. Beautifully, beautifully done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Lucy. I amended Cavewoman to Indigenous after reading where these lines came from.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the phrase “groggy they crawl.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Jenna!

      Like

  4. I’ve reread and realise my first reading and interpretation was completely up the creek but the image of you wrapped up warm, trudging through the sparkling snow won’t go away, so I’ll leave you that first comment here.

    There’s a light-hearted feel to this, as though you’re out there for the fun, and if you don’t find any squirrels you’ll make yourself a ‘mighty snow slide’ instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for both, Jane. I didn’t even think of a literal snow slide but it works 🙂

      Like

      1. I like that image anyway 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ingrid says:

    Oh how lovely that this turned out to be a photographic squirrel hunt! I love the poem and the collage too – just delightful 🐿

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      No matter how irritating the little buggers get at the bird feeder or how nice they would look as a coat, I couldn’t bear to harm a hair on their furry little bodies.

      Like

      1. Ingrid says:

        🤣 me neither! I once fed one from the kitchen window but it got a bit too confident and came into the kitchen then I had to chase it away 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Beverly Crawford says:

    The best way to hunt–with a telephoto lens! I enjoyed your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thank you, Beverly. I agree.

      Like

  7. sanaarizvi says:

    Love this especially; “Aboriginal-headed, the many-pelted, silvered, burnt-oranged, blacked coat warms me.” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thank you, Sanaa!

      Like

  8. Ron. says:

    CLICK!!!
    Most delicious squirrel I’ve had in ages, Lisa. This flows marvelously. My hat is off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Lovely comment, Ron. Bon appetit!

      Like

  9. Ha! Love this. I need only to look out my window to see those squirrels.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. -Eugenia says:

    What a lovely flowing piece, Lisa! Squirrels can be menacing but they are delightfully entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Eugi. I never get close to them or try to tame them. I remember reading something about the olden times they were kept as pets. No thanks! Like you said more fun to watch them in the wild.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. -Eugenia says:

        I had a friend that had one as a pet. They like to chew on everything! I’ve got enough to keep up with having a cat that thinks she is an gymnast.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Dehner says:

    I have a back yard full of squirrels, year round! Fascinating how readers interpret in so many ways, I also thought of building a snow slide. Great job with this challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Helen, do you have bird feeders and/or lots of trees? Seems like trees are the key to having them around. Glad you liked my poem 🙂

      Like

  12. Sadje says:

    Love the collage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I may make one using those directions or use the techniques for others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You so then so well.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. rothpoetry says:

    Your kind of squirrel hunting yields beautiful quiet shots instead of loud bangs! Well done Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Always, Dwight!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Francis says:

    Lovely, particularly like ‘Mid-winter Sol stirs their bellies;’!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 glad you like that

      Liked by 1 person

  15. kim881 says:

    I love that you chose this title, Lisa, and that you not only wrote a fun poem but also made a squirrel collage (glitter optional)! I’ve tried to take photos of the squirrels in our garden, but they are too fast for me. I’ve been imagining ‘sun-crackled cottonwood’ – the words make a great sound! – and the smell of the pine-needled apples.I’m so glad you were hunting with a camera and not a gun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Kim! I didn’t make a squirrel collage (yet!) I remember my dad used to take my brother and I out walking with a bb gun. I remember aiming at a bird and hitting it with a bb and how it acted 😦 Never again.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Vivid and fun – and the squirrels were safe after all. Love the description of the coat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Laura.

      Like

  17. What a delightful verse and the collage is wonderful! I love squirrels…from afar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Punam. I didn’t do the collage but aren’t they cute. I hear you on squirrels from afar!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome! They sure are cute.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. memadtwo says:

    That’s the kind of hunting I can endorse! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Chris Hall says:

    I love all things squirrel 🙂 Little cute nuisances that they are. I now have a bird feeder suspended on a strong but slender cord from the eaves of the roof. That’s fixed them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you found a way to keep them from the bird feeder 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. robtkistner says:

    This had a wonderful sense of adventure Lisa. I felt I was on the hunt with you. I like your choice of weapon as well. 🙂 Also the collage was spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob glad you enjoyed the adventure. Glad you enjoyed the collages.

      Like

  21. Sherry Marr says:

    Hunting critters with cameras is the only way! I love this poem. Such perfect words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sherry, happy you liked the adventure 🙂

      Like

  22. I love “Midwinter sol stirs their bellies’- I can feel their hunger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. rivrvlogr says:

    Well done, Lisa. I felt immersed in the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ken.

      Liked by 1 person

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