Saturday, April 24, 2010

Red Car Property: Revenge of the Squirrels

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 21, 2010. Ready to defend his territory, an average sized squirrel eyed me cautiously as I took photos of his California Black Walnut Tree. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

In the past, you could collect walnuts and acorns with a bucket from the ground beneath native trees on the Red Car Property. In the last two years, a population explosion of squirrels stripped all the native trees. Only occasionally, did I see a stray black walnut among the chewed up shells beneath California Black Walnut Trees near Rose Scharlin Preschool. Tiny squirrel footprints in the dirt indicated the most popular trees.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 13, 2009. Jabba the Squirrel keeps to the larger branches in Red Car Canyon. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Food is so abundant in Red Car Canyon, at least one squirrel reached Jabba the Hut-like proportions. One morning, while walking the canyon, I heard what sounded like a much larger animal in the trees above. I pointed my camera in the direction of the sound, hoping to catch a shot of a raccoon or opossum. Substantial branches were moving with each step of the animal. It was too heavy to be a squirrel.

I was in shock when a squirrel waddled slowly into the open, revealing its full girth. It was downright obese. It was Jabba the Squirrel. Even his head was huge. Unfortunately, the lighting in the canyon does not lend itself to quick shots on a point & shoot camera. So these are the only two images I have of Jabba.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 13, 2009. Jabba is one mean looking, fat-assed squirrel. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I've only seen Jabba a couple times since December. I asked neighbors if they'd seen Jabba. No one else had seen him. However, a Riverside Place neighbor said her son had seen him too. The child had the exact same reaction I did.

There is no mistaking Jabba the Squirrel. He's not just a fat squirrel. He's so obese, he can't run. But then, who's going to mess with a squirrel that large? No wonder there are no acorns and walnuts to collect, Jabba ate them all!

If you have any Jabba the Squirrel sightings, or any other neighborhood wildlife photos, send them to: