Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scene of the Crime

Yesterday, we were hit with the season's first snow-rain-snow storm. High winds and wet conditions kept me from taking my camera along for an outing but the day before that was dry. I decided to head up to a park which is about a 15 to 20 minutes walk from home. To my utter shock and horror, I came upon a crime scene, and it wasn't pretty. Come join me as I retrace my steps.

It started off just fine. A cold but pleasant enough day. I filled my pockets with peanuts, grabbed a camera for each shoulder and headed out along the path.



My local pond was partially covered with a thin layer of ice, allowing these ducks to walk on water. (please click to enlarge)





Different in appearance and attitude from the Mallards, this Wood Duck opted to find the open water. Doesn't he have such beautiful colours? All still seemed peaceful on this morning. Nobody could know the carnage which lurked ahead... (please click to enlarge)





I arrived at my destination, happy to photograph some of the bare bones of the foliage which remained. (please click to enlarge)





The dock, with its welcoming benches is usually bustling in summer. Folks sit, bird-watch, fish and simply enjoy the day. Today, the cold air made these benches much less inviting, and I moved on. (please click to enlarge)





I liked how these dead, leafy stalks dipped elegantly toward the water. The day still felt so innocent and tranquil at this time... (please click to enlarge)





I continued along and noticed this tiny leaf clinging tenuously to these burrs. (please click to enlarge)





As I rounded a curve in the path, I realized how populated this park was compared to the one closer to home. Squirrels began approaching me from every direction. Either they were very used to folks feeding them in this location or they could smell the peanuts in my pocket. In any event, they were quite bold. I offered nuts to a few eager cuties and they fearlessly took them directly from my hand. As I continued along, a man called to me from behind, suggesting that I turn around. Apparently the little guy pictured above never got his peanut and had begun following me, remaining close to my heels with each step I took. I turned and rewarded him for his efforts. As I bent to give him his peanut and snap a photo, another squirrel began climbing my leg, intent upon finding the stash in my pocket. Did I mention that they were bold? I moved along tossing peanuts to demanding critters as I went. (please click to enlarge)





These "dolls' eyes" caught my own eye. They're quite bright and inviting against their russet background but don't be fooled by them. They're highly toxic for living creatures to ingest - but not as toxic as the scene I was about to happen upon.... (please click to enlarge)





My first hint of trouble ahead was the look of extreme terror on this craggy face*. He was completely frozen with fear. I wrestled with myself as to whether I should turn to look or just run. I followed his fixed and frightened stare, and saw the scene which will haunt me forever. (please click to enlarge)

If you have small children in the room with you, please send them away before you scroll down lest the image traumatize and scar them for life.

Please steel yourself for the image you are about to see.

It's heartbreaking.

Particularly at this time of year.

I warn you, it's ugly.

If you're ready though, hold on to a loved one's hand and scroll down to see this shocker...





THEY'VE KILLED SANTA! And his little penguin elves too. (please click to enlarge)

If anyone has any information that might help us learn who would do such a thing, please call your local police department where you might also be able to obtain information to help you to break this sad news to your children. Oh the humanity.

When you raise the next glass of eggnog to your lips, please remember our dear, chubby friend and say a silent "ho ho ho" for him.

May the holiday cheer be with you.

*A nod to Rain whose blog often shows us some wonderful tree faces. She's a master at finding them. And Frank whose recent post is full of wonderful tree photos, including one of my favourites.

80 comments:

LadyFi said...

This was hilarious... and great photos too. Did you have to run and shake off the squirrels after witnessing the horrific crime? ;-)

Tom said...

Wonderful as ever. Thank you for taking my mind off things!

Tom

Phyllis Entis said...

It was the Grinch who done it!

Cuzzie P

Steve Gravano said...

Love that leaf and burr photo. Nice blog.

Valerie said...

Goodness, you had me riveted to the chair. What a splendid who-dun-it, the culprit yet to be found.
I didn't know there were black squirrels.

Gaston Studio said...

You got us Hilary... LOL!

I've never seen a black squirrel before and he's just gorgeous. We only have grey ones in the south. The colors on that wood duck is incredible; so precise, looks like they were painted on! And that tree... what a find! Great pics all, but those are my favs!

Oh, and I'll be on the lookout (BOLO in cop speak) for the dreadful murderers.

Leah J. Utas said...

I love that tree face, and I could just feel those bandit squirrels on me.

the Bag Lady said...

Despite all your warnings, I have to admit to being extremely shocked at the unimaginable horror.... who could DO such a thing?! Is there no compassion left in this world?

Great post, Hilary - one of your best! Love the tree face, and the black squirrel, and the wood duck is gorgeous!

lime said...

wow, i can't believe how close yo ugot to that squirrel! it looks like he scampered up and posed just for you.

i think my favortie is the tree though. that face is priceless.

and what a grisly scene indeed....

Suldog said...

Ducks!

The black squirrel is really cool. We only have grey ones around here (who are still nice, but the black ones look like they keep little Harley's in a tree trunk somewhere and would kick our grey squirrels in the nuts.)

Brian Miller said...

beautiful shots hilary...love the colors and marking on the wood duck...and perhaps santa is just taking a well deserved nap before his journey...lol. i dont think i have ever seen a black squirrel before....

Mental P Mama said...

LOVE that tree face! And my neighbor has that lovely Christmas Inflation Thing, too. I keep waiting for it to appear....

Maggie May said...

Black squirrels! Never seen them before. They are gorgeous. Not sure I would like one running up my leg though!
That tree is dead scary .... looked like it was screaming!
All that hype! I thought there was going to be a murder or something.

Any child would know that they were not the REAL Santa and penguins! They were impostors! Deserved what was coming!
Thanks for the laugh!

Nuts in May

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I was about to say the shot of the benches was my favorite, then the craggy face jumped out at me. That tree is so alive.

ellen abbott said...

I'd tell you which photo I liked best but it's a hard choice. That black squirrel is a beauty. And I loved the tree and the doll's eyes.

Frank Baron said...

Okay.

I might be able to s'plain. No. That will take too long. Lemme recap.

It was late. There was WAY too much tequila going around. Santa must have had 15 shots and you know how he gets. The penguins started teasing and waddling around him in circles. They were hammered too. In no time at all, they all got dizzy and fell into each other.

(I'll never forget the horrifying, yet somehow highly erotic, sound of flippers against velvet.)

Anyway.

Who knew Santa had undone his belt buckle so he could cram in a few more Cheezie Poofs? I guess somehow it poked one of the penguins - Todd, I think it was - and he started hissing and retaliated with a peck and before you knew it: total chaos! Pecking and popping and hissing - it was awful!

I ran home and passed out. When I awoke this morning, I thought it was just a dream. Until...now....

Oh, the humanity!!

Rhonda Moon said...

Wow, I have never seen a black squirrel. We have grey and reddish ones.

Daryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said...

Oh no! Where is Columbo? Or the hotter more recent Castle? I hope your Santa slayer is caught & candy caned! .. I am sure that Dancer and Prancer will be testifying!

deleted and re-posted because, seriously, comments need to have all the words to make sense ..

Frank Baron said...

Oops! Forgot to thank you for the plug.

Thanks for the plug. :)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

those little dudes would climb your leg?????

Protege said...

Aw, poor Santa. So, if I do not get any presents this year, it is not because I was naughty.;)
Love the picture of the squirrel, I have never seen that colour. In the mountains where I was born they were red (brown) and in North Carolina grey.
Always a joy to stop by here.;)
xo
Zuzana

Tracey said...

What a hoot!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Your story was deliciously funny, and Frank Baron's eye-witness explanation was the cherry on top!
Pictures, as always, are terrific, and I'll join the ranks who have never before seen a black squirrel; didn't even know they existed. CLIMBED YOUR LEG?! Good grief, THAT'S a tame squirrel! I love the wood duck on the icy water and dead stalks dipping toward the water. You should seriously frame and market your photos.

Meeko Fabulous said...

OK, that was awesome! Loved the tree face! My imagination isn't nearly as good. I love the picture of the dock! It is so frame worthy!

Sujatha said...

Did you mean to pack the peanuts for the squirrels? I thought they were for you!

Cloudia said...

This is an award worthy post!!!
What pictures! What narrative!

I have to lay down now...

Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Tabor said...

What a great post for me taking a break from computer work!

Rain said...

Oh gosh Hilary, I laughed so hard reading this! What a great story, it's fun isnt it?! That tree looked terrified! I hope the culprit is long gone!!! Thanks for the nod!
:)
LOL at Frank's explanation!!! Hee hee....
Like pretty much everyone else here, I've never seen a black squirrel! Very cool!

Louise said...

That tree face is wonderful. I'm so glad we didn't see real blood!

All of the pictures are lovely. Perfectly do they represent a winter walk. But those squirrels would be my favorite. (I've never seen a black squirrel in real life.)

Hilary said...

Black Squirrels: I'm not entirely surprised that so many have never seen a black squirrel - which are really members of the gray squirrel family. I grew up in Montreal and never saw them either. Only when I moved to Ontario did I first see black squirrels and rarely did I see a gray. Now I'm seeing large numbers of both. They're all cute. :)

• Thanks, LadyFi. The squirrels were nowhere in sight by then. Good thing too or they might have been traumatized! ;)

• Thanks, Tom. I hope you resolve whatever's on your mind. I'm glad the post helped some. :)

• Cuzzie, it might well have been. I bet you like to play Clue! ;)

• Thanks, Steve. Much appreciated. :)

• Valerie, thanks so much. I'm glad you were entertained. :)

• Jane, I explain at the beginning of this comment about the squirrels around here. We still have more black than gray, but the gray population seems to be growing lately. :) Thanks for your kind words and for keeping an eye out for that culprit! ;)

• Thanks, Leah. They sure do scurry up a leg pretty confidently. And there was even a dog nearby. This one just didn't care. Bold and probably a little more vulnerable because of it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Baggie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'm sorry you were so shocked though. I tried to prepare you. Poor, poor Santa. :)

• Lime, you can be sure that the one who climbed my leg got much closer still. That's all I'm going to say about that. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Suldog, yes Ducks! lol You and your ducks.. and Frank and his penguins. You guys are sickos! Your gray squirrels know that our Harley-riding population is quite capable of exactly that.. which is why they're all so busy hiding their nuts. ;)

• Thanks, Brian. Ever the optimist, you're hoping that Santa was just "resting." OK, I won't disillusion you. ;) Thanks for the kind comments. :)

• Thanks, MPM. Lucky you! ;) Poor, poor Santa. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Maggie, I'm glad you got a kick out of the post. The squirrel was as bold as brass, but darned cute. I didn't mind him coming to get a closer look. He earned his peanut. I sure hope they were just impostors. I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• PHST, it sure has interesting features, eh? Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Ellen. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

Hilary said...

• Frank? NO MORE TEQUILA FOR YOU! What is it with you guys? You with your penguin fantasy and Suldog with his duck fetish (you'll have to read his blog award post). I'm beginning to understand why you suggested I get a tuxedo. ;)

• Rhonda, the black squirrels are actually "gray squirrels".. but in black. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Daryl, I'm sure you're right. They love a good drama. Candy caned made me laugh. :)

• You're welcome, Frank. :)

• Gary, just one of them did. He was a bold little fart. :)

• Protege, probably quite the opposite. Especially if Santa lives in Ireland. ;) Thanks for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Thanks, Tracey. Much apprecaited. :)

• EthelMae, thank you for your always-wonderful compliments. I address the black squirrel thing up at the top of my comment. Yes, he climbed my leg. He was a very bold little critter.. but cute. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my photo story and Frank's eyewitness account of it. Thanks always for being so kind. :)

• Meeko, thank you so much for such encouraging words. I so appreciate them. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Sujatha, lol yes, I did mean to bring them for the squirrels. Closer to home, I leave peanuts in trees for them. I knew I'd have a few takers where I walked this day but had no idea they'd be following me and climbing my legs to get at them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Cloudia, thanks for that. :) Have a good rest, but keep one eye open... ;)

• Thanks, Tabor. I'm glad you enjoyed your break. :)

• Rainy, I'm glad you enjoyed my post and Frank's explanation. Thanks for letting me borrow a page from your tree story book.. even though I did so without asking. I kind of suspected you wouldn't mind. ;)

• Thanks very much, Louise. You sure aren't alone where those squirrels are concerned. :)

Karen said...

You GOT me! I was expecting dead animals or you in danger or....Then you said they got Santa. Oh, the horror. :0 I love the black squirrel. We don't have those around here.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Hilary, you had me in stitches. I'm still rolling. I loved this post. The tree face was incredibly interesting and I love how the squirrels followed you wanting nuts. I've never seen a black squirrel before. It is really a pretty critter. I would have loved this walk.

ds said...

OH, NO!!! That was wonderful, from the stalking squirrels to the screaming tree to the ultimate denouement.Priceless!
You made my day. Thank you!!!

Reb said...

LOL Wonderful as always Hilary. I love the black squirrel - something about putting an animal in a pure black coat, be it jaguar or wolf, makes them that much more stunning.

The wood duck and the horrified tree are other favourites this round.

As for Santa and his penguins... Frank, sheesh! Glad you explained though ;)

Nessa said...

The black squirrel surprised me.

Car Goes Boom

Cedar said...

WOW I have never seen a black squrriel before....that is cool...I saw an all white skunk once that I thought was a cat...that didn't go real well...but a black squrriel seems harmless enough...unless your nuts.

Nancy said...

LOL! You are so creative and fun! I just love stopping by!

Land of shimp said...

Delightful story told with a wonderful flourish, and great pictures, who could ask for anything more? You made me smile a great deal, Hilary.

You know one of the details I liked? The fact that you leave the house with two cameras! It makes so much sense, and that lovely fanciful tale was made somehow more fun by the inclusion of that; something so firmly rooted in a routine for you :-)

Anyway, anyway I thought of you when driving into our suburb the other day and it's particularly apropos to tell you why -- there are many highly decorated houses around here, but we've had a bitterly cold snap, and some of the large, inflated decorations were at half mast. Including Mr. and Mrs. Snowman on someone's lawn. The result was that both were doubled over...and I was nearly in tears laughing because they was they were doubled over suggested snowman porn.

At that moment I thought, "Oh do I ever wish that I could take a decent picture!!" (I can't to save my very life) ...and I wished I could borrow your talent to be able to capture the sight. Then today, I came here and saw your story, and it made me laugh all the harder.

Life with Kaishon said...

HaHaHa : ) Poor Santa. I will be on the lookout for perpetrators for sure... : )

Love your pictures of the barren landscape of winter!

NJ said...

I love this post. The magic of Christmas will bring Santa and his elves to life when darkness falls. Right now there spirit is work at the north pole.

Michael Manning said...

Your photography is amazing, Hilary...undertaken with such sensitivity and heart. I admire your talent and the feelings come through so nicely! Very enjoyable!!:D)

Tammie Lee said...

you are so cute with your humor in this post. I did see the face of horror! The light and beauty in the first duck photos caught my attention.

Country Girl said...

I cannot stand those blow-up lawn ornaments, Hilary. Very funny!

Loved all of your photos in this post and I have never, ever seen a black squirrel! Nor had one try to run up my pantleg. Oh, Lord!

kcinnova said...

My dh is convinced that those lifeless lawn "ornaments" that inflate at night look, in the daytime in their deflated state, much like used condoms spread about lawns. And if not that, they look like $100 bills strewn about haphazardly.
I'm not sure how I feel about them, but my dh does make me laugh -- and so does the end of your story. :)

kcinnova said...

Just read through some comments above, and Frank cracked me up. :)
I'll be sure to hide my tequila on Christmas Eve. ;)

Kat said...

I could barely get through the rest of your post because I was so distracted. I have NEVER seen a black squirrel before. NEVER! What a little beauty!
And the mallard. Wow! Beautiful color indeed!

The Things We Carried said...

Oh my gosh, I came by to send you a big (((((((((hug)))))))) and thanks and you leave me in laughter! Thank you!

Dave said...

A good horror expression on that tree Hilary! I enjoyed the walk. - Dave

Elizabeth Bradley said...

The horror!

That squirrel is dressed for Halloween.

I enjoy your stories with pictures.

Hilary said...

I knew you were up to something.....

and a 'black' squirrel??? I have never seen one in my life.

Margo said...

what an hysterical twist at the end! We've got a few Santas down in these parts too. Your pictures inspire me to get the heck out of the house and open my eyes. I've been sick and the weather's been ugly until today and now there is no excuse :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Too funny!

You do realize, though, that your squirrels are the wrong color up there? Quite handsome, but squirrels aren't supposed to be black. Perhaps it's a skunk in in disguise.

San said...

Hilary, I had to run to the kitchen and grab a handful of peanut tranquilizers after that kind of shock. Munch. Munch. There. That's better.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I've never seen a black squirrel before.

The shot with the park benches is my fave but all of them are fabulous!

Have a great weekend.
xo

Dianne said...

I was holding my breath until I got to the tree and then I figured it would be a shots of squirrels refusing to let you leave

then I got worried again LOL

oh well - there will be another Santa along in a few minutes ;)

Wendy said...

LOL! Brilliant! I absolutely loved the look of terror on the tree. Will have to check out some of the links you posted to see more tree faces.

I've noticed some of your commentors have never seen a black squirrel. We have black squirrels being so close to the Ontario border. Other than Ontario, I don't know if anyone else has the black variety.

Loved your pics. And your way with words. You really know how to build suspense!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed my silly mystery. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• JarieLyn, I'm happy that you got such a kick out of this post. It pleases me to know that you did. It seems only Southern Ontario has these black beauties. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• DS, Thank you for coming around to let me know you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks, Reb. You're right about the black coat.. they do make critters look that much more lovely. Where would we have been without Frank's explanation? ;)

• Nessa the gray one which climbed my leg surprised me! ;)

• Cedar, I'm beginning to realize that black squirrels are unique to Southern Ontario. The majority of our squirrels are black though we also have many gray. You made me laugh with your albino skunk comment. :)

• Thanks kindly, Nancy. I enjoy having you visit. :)

• Shimp, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad this story evoked a smile. I always have two cameras on me. One is an SLR and it's a great camera but I don't have any additional lenses for it, nor does it have video capabilities. The other camera is not SLR, but it has a 12X zoom and can take videos. I always find that I need whichever one I don't have with me so I've gotten into the habit of taking both. That's such a funny story about your snowman porn! I sure wish I had seen it. You need to keep a camera on you.. and even if you don't care to fiddle with settings, you can keep it on auto and still get a great picture. I'm glad you had a good laugh and that truly is a funny coincidence that my post covered something similar. Thanks so much for stopping by to tell me. :)

• LWK, thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated. :)

• NJ, right you are about the magic. I'll bet Santa and company have come back to life by now. I should wander by to see. Thank for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Michael, I appreciate your very kind words. It means a lot to me that you enjoy my photos. Thanks so much for that. :)

• TammieLee, thank you. I'm glad you got a kick out of the post. Your kind words are so appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Kate though I can't imagine why you don't like them. They'd look so elegant on your lovely lawn. ;) As for the squirrel, I had to wonder what Benny would have done had he seen one climbing my leg.. or George for that matter. :)

Hilary said...

• KC, your comment cracked me up. A busy night at the north pole. I'm beginning to get why Santa says "Ho, ho, ho." I'm glad I could make you laugh. That pleases me much. And you'd be wise to hide tequila well. Frank can sniff it out pretty easily. ;)

• Thanks, Kat. I hadn't realized that black squirrels were so different to the rest of the world. I'm learning that they're only around my own province and not really anywhere else. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Aww, MT thanks for that. I'm glad this gave you a laugh. Chin up, my friend and hugs right back at you. :)

• Thanks, Dave. I'm glad you joined me. :)

• Elizabeth, you're right. Our squirrels get all confused over which holiday is which. I'm glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Hilary, you have now. :) Thanks for stopping by.

• Thank you, Margo. Sorry to hear that you've been sick. I hope you're on the mend by now. Our weather is pretty cold this week so I'm less inclined to spend too much time outside. I so appreciate your very kind words. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Crabby, what can I say? We Canadian embrace diversity. ;) Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• San, I still have a pocket full of those peanut tranquilizers. I would have shared with you. Thanks for the visit. :)

• JJ, that sure seems to be the running theme about the black squirrels. Thanks so much for the kind compliments. I hope that you have a great weekend too. :)

• Dianne, you're so right. Those Santas are like busses. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thank you, Wendy. I think you're right. It's begun to dawn on me that black squirrels are unique to Ontario. I never saw them in Montreal growing up and it seems I wasn't alone. Thanks very much for your always-kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

colbymarshall said...

Did I spy a ninja squirrel in those photos? I THINK I DID!

Russell said...

The tree is great. Felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz and before long apples would be filling the air!

I am 50 some years old and have NEVER seen a black squirrel! Heh! At first I thought it was a skunk (!!). He is certainly a beautiful creature but sounds as if he was a bit demanding!

I laughed at the crime scene. Believe it or not, I have seen a similar crime as I drive through town some days!! I hope they catch those Serial Santa Slayers!

Tom Bailey said...

I like the black squirrel picture the best... Why? I do not think I have ever seen a black one in my life if that. I like the things you have noted about each photo it really makes the photos come alive even more.

Kindest regards,
Tom BAILEY -

lakeviewer said...

I'm smitten by these pictures. You have captured autumn and its colors and shapes. (except for that smothered santa).

steviewren said...

OMG, I'm glad I shielded that little ones eyes! Poor Santa. Did you call the authorities?

I see that squirrels in your area are as cheeky as they are here in Alabama.

Maggie said...

LOL....thank you.

Bachelor said...

You are something else... GREAT FUNNY POST with great pics taboot!
Love it! Hope you're having a great weekend. LadyCat and I are going with some friends to the Purdue University Christmas Show tonight. It is always good and puts you into the spirit of Christmas. Take care, The Bach

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

l would like to sit a while with you on one of those benches, looks lovely.

Might l nominate janine for this wonderful xmas post...

http://snifflesandsmiles.blogspot.com/2009/12/white-christmas-not.html

l thank you


saz aka FFF

SandyCarlson said...

What a deflating experience at the end of that delightful walk. What a shame. But, oh, the beauty before that rough end!

smiles4u said...

Oh how I loved the pictures on this walk and then I was bracing myself for something horrible...lol. Wonderful post!

nikina said...

same crime happened in our frontyard a week ago...i wonder if it is the same killer. maybe he or she is an ontarian serial christmas killer...sad sad sad !!

your pics are awesome !!! it already looks very very white up here and has been for a couple of weeks now. it just started snowing again tonight ... lovely !!!

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the warm wishes for my mom today...she came through surgery nicely and is resting. thank you. smiles.

Coldplay said...

Hi, it's a very great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!
mp3salem.com

Cloudia said...

well worth a second ride!

Hilary said...

• Colby, you may well have spotted one. Good catch! ;)

• Russell, thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. I like that the tree made you think of The Wizard of Oz and I love the name "Serial Santa Slayers." Thanks for the laughs. :)

• Tom, thank very much for such kind words. I'm pleased that you enjoy my words and photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Lakeviewer. I'm so glad you think so. I'll bet Smothered Santa is too. :)

• Steviewren, thank goodness for your responsible behaviour. We don't want kids being traumatized! I did call the North Pole Police Patrol and they're on the case. Thanks for the visit. :)

• My pleasure, Maggie. :)

• Thank you, Bach. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And that sounds like you and Lady Cat probably had a great evening. :)

• Saz, I would love it if you could join me on one of those benches. I'm sure we'd have a lot to chat about. I sent you an email regarding your nomination. I hope you got it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandy, that Santa was probably full of hot air and his ego needed deflating. ;) Thanks so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Lori. Your kind words alway make me smile. :)

• Nikina, what a coincidence! I wonder if those black squirrels had anything to do with it. ;) Thanks so much for the very kind words. They're very much appreciated. Enjoy the snow but bundle up and keep warm! :)

• Brian, I am so happy to hear that your Mom is doing better. Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know. :)

• Coldplay, thanks very much for the kind words. I appreciate it. :)

• Cloudia, thanks for floating by again. Much appreciated.. aloha! :)

Hannah Miet said...

I thought I could handle the photo...I was wrong.

Tears.

Theresa said...

Handsome squirrel, beggar that he is. We must have a cousin of his around here in the mountains of Oregon, small, those stand up straight ears & tufts and while not black, a very very deep charcoal grey.
Lovely job recreating your steps to the crime, such a contrast, all that beauty and then...well, dead Kris Kringle....

Kerri said...

Great Post HIlary! LOVE the Wood duck - what a stunner he is! And of course the row of benches....be still my heart :)

photowannabe said...

Hilary, you are just too, too much. This is a hilarious post and I am totally shocked by the murder. What a sad state of affairs.....
I have never seen a black squirrel before. He's quite lovely, bold but has a beautiful coat.
Just wanted to wish you a Happy Hanukka. I'm sorry I don't know the proper way to spell it.

Hilary said...

• Hannah, so sorry for the trauma that dead Santa caused you. Have some egg nog.. you'll feel much better. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Theresa, thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I suspect ole Kris Kningle will be up and about again before too long. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Kerri. I always think of you when I'm photographing benches. :)

• Sue thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Thanks also for the Hanukka wishes. The beauty of that word is that there is no right .. or wrong way to spell it. There are so many variations that no matter what you do, you've probably spelled it just fine. Thanks for the good wishes. :)