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I’m guessing that whoever put this handful of seed on top of a gatepost in Avonbank Gardens in Stratford today has done it before, and that this squirrel knows the drill. From its proportions I think that it’s a youngster – probably one of last year’s kits – but it’s seriously chunky, and not planning to go on a diet any time soon. It was so determined to eat this seed before the birds got to it that it allowed me within just a few feet (at one point I was standing by the other gatepost, and had to wind in the zoom to get all the squirrel in shot), and it only scampered up the nearest tree when someone else approached with a dog.

I know that there’s a lot of controversy about American grey squirrels in this country, and if we lived in an area that still has reds I’d probably treat these as vermin myself. But we don’t, and I can’t. And as for DeFRA’s new guidelines on invasive species – just don’t get me started. In fact, don’t get me started on this damned Government at all, or we’ll be here all night.

*Scowly face frothing at the mouth emoticon*

And – breathe….

So anyway, R and I went to Stratford for walking and coffee this morning. And luckily I saw this little fat chap before having to make the cake decision, and with a mind to what can happen when you let yourself go, and a feeling that I should probably wait till after The Wedding (photographs) before allowing myself to become spherical, I stoically said no to the cake and had extra coffee instead – on the basis that all the twitching would help me burn a few more calories.