#49 – Cheers!

Inspiration, much like perspiration, is all around us… and I have certainly drawn my fair share of inspiration from the squirrels I’ve encountered over the past decade.  I certainly wasn’t expecting to any grand revelations out of this photo I took of a squirrel poking its head up over a stump at the park four years ago… but the forces of creativity often work in quite mysterious and random ways…

When I presented this photo for Saturday Squirrel perusal in March of 2018, I titled the post “A Squirrel Walks Into A Bar,” an obvious play on the more well-worn joke set-ups out there.  That title drew the attention of Google when someone searched for that exact string sometime that year… which in turn got it included in my 2018 Sandy Awards post I put together at the end of the year.  And that’s around the time I’m starting to give consideration to the theme of my upcoming Contest of Whatever…. and the theme of the 2019 Contest?

Yes, “A Squirrel Walks Into A Bar.”

And how can you look at that photo and not think it looks like that squirrel’s downing a few brews at the local watering hole?  With his elbow on the counter and even a few (beer) nuts laying next to him.  The only thing missing is the bartender to being this guy a drink!  A well earned #49 ranking for the squirrel who can be found at the stump where everybody knows your name…

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Southern Comfort

Yeeehaw!!!  Y’all ready to for somethin’ that’ll get yer honky tonkin’ on a Monday mornin’ better than a soggy bowl of instant grits?  Well, that’s the day The Nest does its own rebel yell by huntin’ down another 10-point song that got runned over by a pickup truck out by that plantation of cotton pickin’ lost hits we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  Make sure y’all tip yer hat to Miss DJ Scratchy and her eye catchin’ pair of Daisy Dukes, while the Sponkies try to learn how to whistle Dixie.  If y’all don’t like this song, well then bless your heart…

When you think of the 80’s band 38 Special, what image and sound comes to mind?  You probably think of a bunch of long haired, wild eyed Southern boys who put their brand of Southern rock on the map in the early 80’s with hits like “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up In You”…. both songs that are still generally recognizable 40 years later.

Nice to have you guys back where you belong…

38 Special certainly had the Southern rock pedigree, as one of its original members was Donnie Van Zant, younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder Ronnie.  Guitarist Don Barnes’ voice sang lead on every one of 38 Special’s hits you know, and is just as much a part of the group’s iconic sound.  And while the band did stray a bit from its hard Southern rock roots as the 80’s moved along, if you were familiar with their music, you could still pretty easily pick a 38 Special song blindly out of a lineup.

So what was the band’s biggest hit on the Billboard charts?

This…

By 1989, Barnes had left the band and new member, keyboardist Max Carl took over the mic… and the best known song from the Max Carl era of 38 Special was the very un-38 Special sounding ballad “Second Chance.”  Though it’s pretty much forgotten today, it hit #6 on the Hot 100 in 1989, beating out the #10 placement of “Caught Up In You” from 1982.  It’s the equivalent of being a rock and roll legend, but having a late-career sophomoric novelty song become your biggest hit ever.

Your heart needs a second chance…

Alright, this song deserves a second chance… and you know what, I like it!  I don’t care that it sounds more like 98 Degrees than 38 Special…. even artists who are best known for one distinctive sound are allowed to experiment with something COMPLETELY different.  If Kiss can have a hit with “Beth,” then 38 Special can have a “Second Chance”…

Beth, I hear you calling!

While this song may not leave you rocking into the night, maybe our next one will in seven days!  Y’all come back now, ya hear!

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Beauty In Motion

Frozen in time. Maybe we should unfreeze him now…

A squirrel in motion tends to remain in motion… though if a photographer is lucky, they can capture the graceful appearance of one in mid-leap, and the result shows the grace these critters possess in their sometimes frantic looking movement.  I was particularly fond of the smooth S-curve that can be traced out from the squirrel’s nose to the end of its tail.  What a model of aerodynamic efficiency!

Saturday’s Squirrel is full of grace, and that’s why we love them as we leap into the last quarter of 2022!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Share Your World – Week 195

Aaaaaah! There it is!

The geopolitical boundaries of Europe have changed a lot over the years, even in our lifetimes… and the continent is full of little independent “nations” that you’d need a magnifying glass to see on a map.  One you won’t find anymore, and possibly had never even heard of, was a tiny microstate by the name of Couto Misto, which ceased to exist with the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon on September 29, 1864.  Couto Misto was a few square miles area of land in the Salas Valley on the border of Spain and Portugal which consisted of three villages and operated as a sovereign state from its founding in the 10th Century until it was partitioned and annexed by the two more prominent countries.  Funny how those two Old World powers fought for centuries over territory in the Western Hemisphere, yet couldn’t even conquer a small city state that was hiding in between them for 800 years…

The brave and fierce guardian of Cuoto Misto.

And now as we wait for the Swiss and the Austrians to carve up Liechtenstein, let’s answer this week’s Share Your World questions, featuring the return of Melanie!  YAY!!!!

Anyone for a slice of Cuoto Misto with whipped cream?

Would you rather have no nose, or no arms?

Outside of maybe Cyrano de Bergerac, I can’t imagine who’d pick their nose (ha!) over their arms… though the lack of a nose would mean I’d no longer need my arms to wipe blow it.  That’s especially true when most artificial smells just irritate me anyway…

This is also an easy choice for politicians.

What is your spirit animal?

Sure, you might think it’s a squirrel.  But I’m actually a raccoon.  I’m nocturnal, sneaky, have a temper, like what other people think is garbage, and I have rabies…

glowing eyes raccoon

I’m just lacking the adorable as hell part…

Do you think cavemen had nightmares about cavewomen?

You were expecting, maybe, Raquel Welch?

Where did the name Pina Colada come from?

From the Rupert Holmes song, of course.  He totally made that name up, and some bartender decided to start serving drinks for people who like getting caught in the rain…

Rupert’s gonna wish he didn’t have a nose when Rainy finds out he’s been cheating…

How thankful are you for good health, should you enjoy such a state of being?

You should, but you never realize how good your health was until it starts deteriorating on you…

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#50 – Three For The Road

When I first began photographing the squirrels in my neighborhood ten years ago, the subjects were plentiful.  If the weather was nice, it wasn’t uncommon to see a whole handful of squirrels up and about.  And if the conditions were really right, they were more active than a day care full of three year olds after a sugar-infused Kool Aid break!  It probably helped that they knew the corn feeder on my tree always had a treat for them…. not to mention all the acorns from my oak.  Sadly, it’s not like that anymore, and I miss all the bustle in my backyard….

But I can look back on photos like this one and remember those wild and crazy days that first got me so excited about watching these guys and preserving their antics.  I’ve got a lot of photos of squirrels balancing, running and even jumping on a utility pole wire… but I know for a fact this is the only one I have with THREE squirrels all chasing each other on a wire at once!  Bonus: I was actually outside in my yard when I took this picture, so my perspective of them is from just below!  Yes, the squirrels are a bit blurry… but the camera will almost always focus on the background when the subject is a small body on a wire.  Merby came up with the “squirrel highway” moniker that I always think of now when I see this shot…

And so the first entry in my Top 50 Saturday Squirrels countdown is a trio of acrobats!  A round of applause for the Flying Squirrelendas, if you please….

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