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Squirrel

Characters

Ever since moving to Sweden, my wife and I have been actively looking for red squirrels. While their population in the UK is limited to a few small areas, they're everywhere in Sweden. So much so that we found reliable squirrel encounters around the city. Parks, natural reserves and even small local woods.  All of them are easily accessible by foot or public transport. This did not happen right away, however. I had seen squirrels whilst on forest walks but they were properly wild. Not at all interested in humans and disappearing at the first sign of sound or sight. It wasn't until walking on one of the main city parks, after taking a new path that we came across some friendly specimens. Once my eyes were open to spot the signs, it was relatively easy to find them in more and more places.


These are only some of the most memorable characters that we have found. To the inexperienced eye, all squirrels look alike, but they became a familiar face (easily identifiable) after you spend some time with them. Different colouration, patterns, skull shapes and most important of all, different personalities.

 

▼ Jen ▼

Inspiration: The IT Crowd

First Seen: 26th December 2021

Last Seen: Mid June 2023

City Park

This park is a big and popular place in the city with plenty of natural and landscaped features. As with any city park, it has some areas that are a bit "hidden" from the paths and where bird feeders are present. This has been a constant in finding city squirrels and the reason why I found them "easily" at this location. Even when the specific area can be messy, being a popular city park, it has been a reliable squirrel heaven where I have found the friendliest and most beautiful characters over the years.

There are so many things I could say about Jen. After exploring a new path and having no plan to even find any squirrel, we suddenly spotted one from afar, running around in a dark hidden enclosure. So we went straight to it. The squirrel in case was Jen. She, against all odds, approached us and climbed us all the way to our hands, very obviously looking for food, but to us, this was an undoubted act of love. We bonded instantly. Jen's rounded body, disarming trust and adorable behaviour was a constant in our lives for around two glorious years. During the time we got to share with her, she would always act the same way. We got to see her changing her beautiful coat from fiery red to slightly silver with the seasons.


Her face shape was round just like her body, giving her a clear teddy bear look. We were lucky enough to see her as a fierce mother and a brave alpha female ruling the whole area, even when at times, we could be surrounded by more than 10 squirrels, she was very much in charge. She will go from a fiery territorial creature to one so gentle and trusting to us that would take food from our hands so carefully and then to climb on our hands to eat. A character so lovely and special that even after all these years, we have not been able to ever find any other squirrel like her.


It was so sad having to admit that we would never see her again after a year of no sightings. She is now a part of our lives, even when not physically present, there is no day that goes by that we don't remember her magical presence. Even my logo is based on her shape.


We believe she must have lived around 3 years since she was an adult when we first found her. Wild squirrels have a life expectancy of around 3 years so we feel her time had come. During our time with her, she had plenty of babies and we believe that we might know some of them! Jen's legacy is very much present as you'll see.

 

▼ Willow ▼

Inspiration: Buffy

First Seen: Late 2021

Last Seen: Early 2023

 

We met Willow around the same time and place that we met Jen. She would not climb us, but we did manage to get her to half sit in our hand when next to a tree. Touching her nose while eating was also allowed. Willow's colours were a lovely gradient of reds and greys. Her lovely skull/face shape was round with very cute features that made her look very young, almost like a chipmunk. She could have either been one of Jen's babies from previous years, or perhaps a sister. Since we discovered them at the same time it's difficult to know, but not many others in this area has such cute, short noses.

Unfortunately we do not see Willow anymore, she disappeared around the same time as Jen. We do have one video of her though...

 

▼ Herr Kartoffel ▼

Inspiration: He's a potato

First Seen: March 2023

Last Seen: -

This glorious creature was first seen during one of the last snowstorms at the beginning of spring. We have a strong suspicion that he might be one of Jen's babies since we saw her with him, acting kind to him which was highly unusual of Jen.


Mr. Potato wasn't always an obvious potato. But then he became one. He is the closest thing to a Disney-style animated squirrel. Precious round nose with a lighter colour to make it even more adorable. Huge eyes and tufts, a beautiful red coat in summer and almost completely grey during winter.


His two defining features are however, his round shape with no neck and his adorable behaviour. He is not one to come too close to people or any other squirrel for that matter. He likes to keep a healthy distance and he compensates this with the most adorable way to look at you. He would even tilt his head to hear you better. He has lots of fans online and we hope to see him for many years to come.

 

▼ Scarlett ▼

Inspiration: Avengers

First Seen: March 2023

Last Seen: -

We believe Scarlet is Mr. Potato's sister. They were both together at the same place the first time we met them. Exactly the same age and with Jen around. Another beautiful creature that has now become a mother for the first time this summer and with a lovely face that will melt any heart.