This is my favourite pin-up: a Douglas Squirrel, Tamiasciurus douglasii, aka Pine Squirrel. I've never had anything or anyone pose so beautifully or willingly for me before or since. I took this photo on slide film at Depoe Bay, Oregon in the summer of 1997.
In "The Mountains of California," John Muir describes the Douglas Squirrel:
From the nose to the root of the tail he measures about eight inches; and his tail, which he so effectively uses in interpreting his feelings, is about six inches in length. He wears dark bluish-gray over the back and half-way down the sides, bright buff on the belly, with a stripe of dark gray, nearly black, separating the upper and under colors; this dividing stripe, however, is not very sharply defined. He has long black whiskers, which gives him a rather fierce look when observed closely, strong claws, sharp as fish-hooks, and the brightest of bright eyes, full of telling speculation.A very active animal, the Douglas Squirrel acts as a guard to other forest creatures by sounding a harsh churring warning when predators, including humans, enter the area. I don't remember if this one churred a warning when we showed up. Since this photo was taken in a parking area at a scenic viewpoint, I suspect it was more likely waiting for a handout.
The Douglas Squirrel eats acorns, nuts, mushrooms, fruits, berries, green vegetation and new shoots of conifers. It also eats seeds from cones by peeling off the scale and removing the seed. The discarded scales pile up to form a midden. Sometimes generations of squirrels use these same eating areas and a midden may be over a meter high and several meters in diameter. Its summer nest is made of mosses and lichens, twigs and bark. In the winter, it nests in tree holes.
The Douglas Squirrel is closely related to the Red Squirrel. They are similar in appearance. However, in summer the Red Squirrel has a white belly, whereas the Douglas Squirrel's belly is somewhat orange.