Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day

squirrel-nutkin-2
Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day or #SquirrelAppreciationDay if you go on Twitter.

The creator of Squirrel Appreciation Day is Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina who is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Centre.

According to Christy how you celebrate the event is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.

I’m learning a bit about wildlife rehabilitation instead.

Apparently wildlife rehabilitation is the treatment and care of a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal and its preparation for release to a successful life back in the wild. That wasn’t a job on offer when I had my appointment with the careers officer back in the 1960s!

In the UK, there’s the British Wildlife Registration Council which exists to promote the welfare of wildlife casualties both whilst in captivity and after release back into the wild, and to ensure that casualties are handled within the framework and spirit of the law.

Well, you learn something everyday.

My favourite squirrel is

Beatrix Potter’s Squirrel Nutkin.

squirrel-nutkin-3
Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
First published in 1903, it’s the story of an impertinent red squirrel named Nutkin and his narrow escape from an owl called Old Brown.

Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Squirrel Nutkin had its origins in a story and picture letter Potter sent Norah Moore, the daughter of her former governess, Annie Carter Moore.
The background illustrations were modelled on Derwentwater and St. Herbert’s Island in the Lake District.

Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Beatrix Potter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lovely Squirrel Nutkin section in the 1971 Royal Ballet film of The Tales of Beatrix Potter.

The film was directed by Reginald Mills, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton (who danced the role of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle), and featured dancers from the Royal Ballet. The musical score was arranged by John Lanchbery from various sources, such as the operas of Michael Balfe and of Sir Arthur Sullivan, and performed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. It was designed and co-written by Christine Edzard. Tales of Beatrix Potter is the only feature film directed by Mills, who is best remembered as a film editor. Mills edited The Red Shoes (1948) and other films directed and produced by Powell and Pressburger that incorporated ballet.

If you’ve a few minutes to spare, do watch it;

it really is lovely.

Happy #SquirrelAppreciationDay!

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