Our city is full of squirrels. Most of our streets are lined with massive old trees, so it’s a perfect urban habitat for them.

We spend a lot of time watching and enjoying them play and run and be busy on the trees and roof next door.

Two mornings ago, as I was in the warm-up phase of my power walk, I saw a squirrel stop midway up a tree to watch me approach.

I was doubtful that he’d stick around long enough for a photo and was positive that even the movement to take my phone out of my pocket would cause him to quickly scamper off.

As I took my phone from my pocket and readied it, he continued to stare down at me. I moved closer. He stayed still, with his cheeky stare fixed on me.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone tele lens along. It seems I seldom do when photo ops like these arise. This resulted in a need to severely crop. In addition, because the morning sun was in the background, the squirrel was very underexposed.

I did what I could in Snapseed with the tuning and selective tools, and this the best I could do with those edits:

Just as I was about post my feature image, I wondered if maybe this would be an occasion where a black and white rendering would help. I believe it did.

I’m walking again with my tele lens and my macro lens in tow. I’m not sure if an opportunity like this will ever happen again, but if it does, I’ll be ready.

“The squirrels, leaping joyfully from branch to branch: not a single one doubts its existence.”

Marty Rubin