Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted some leaves dropping from a tall tree just past the deck. Even though the wind was blowing the branches to and fro, the only things dropping straight down were all coming from the same spot high in the tree.
Then I spied our visitor. At first, since he was so far up, we thought it was a bird - but no, this little furry red squirrel was having quite the snack on some tree seeds.
I ran into the house to get my camera. Unfortunately, the telephoto lens wasn't on it; but there was no way I would risk changing it with my muddy hands... so I simply snapped some shots with the 18-55mm lens on my Canon DSLR. It was so bright outside, I just aimed in his general direction and shot away; I couldn't see the viewfinder image well at all... and he was so high up, I couldn't confirm if I even had him in my sights.
I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded the images on my laptop.
I thought for sure these would be blurry... because he was quite the acrobat; with his back feet firmly clamped around the thin branch, he held on easily even though the wind was whipping him back and forth like a carnival ride.
All the while, he calmly grabbed a bunch of tender leaves, found some seeds and let the sheaths and leaves fall to the ground.
Er, I THINK this is a "he"... but since I am not well versed at sexing rodents, I will let the photos speak for themselves...
He had no fear of me clicking away; he knew he was safe.