Umbrella Tail - Eastern Grey Squirrel
Limited Edition of 200, 29″ x 21″ - $150.00
Open Edition 10″ x 8″ – $30.00
The eastern gray squirrel’s natural range west of the Mississippi extends into the Great Plains. Western populations are increasing, and those of the species introduced into Seattle, Vancouver and Calgary are thriving. These squirrels have two distinct colours; most are a dusty gray with light under parts, but occasionally black ones are encountered. Some local populations, such as the one in Calgary, are almost completely black.
There are four categories of squirrels: prairie dogs, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. Of the tree squirrels, there are two genera – the large gray squirrels (Aciurus), and the smaller red squirrels (Tamiasciurus). Tree squirrels have larger eyes and bushier tails than ground squirrels. Their tails help squirrels balance while running along branches, and they often lay their tail over their back to serve as an umbrella giving them protection from the sun and rain when they are resting or eating. In the winter, the tail is used as a blanket for warmth as all tree squirrels do not hibernate.
In the composition, “Umbrella Tail,” the tree squirrel is resting with his tail erect. His back is shaded, and the shadows of higher branches fall upon its coat. Both the tail and the branches provide an umbrella effect. The squirrel is both cooled and sheltered from a hot sunny day. After resting, the search for food will continue. By nipping off the germinating ends of nuts and seeds and burying them in his cache, the squirrel assures himself that he will have a sufficient, non-sprouting, food supply for winter and stormy days ahead. As he scurries about on the snow on bright, sunny winter days raiding his cache, the only relief from the sun’s direct rays is his umbrella tail.