Saturday, April 18, 2020

Still Life With Robin....And Squirrels

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by Peggy Robin

Every so often I will put together a column in what seems like the laziest way possible: Instead of writing something of my own, I will just send you to someone else’s column online and say there you go -- read and enjoy. When it comes to John Kelly’s column I’m sorely tempted to do this multiple times a year. He just has this magical knack for finding the wacky, the charming, and always quintessentially neighborhood-y things that might not get covered by anyone else at the august Washington Post. Of course I’ve got to limit my Kelly-fandom in this space, and so I keep it down to once a year….and that one time is inevitably during Squirrel Week! And of all the columns John Kelly does for Squirrel Week (April 11 – 17, 2020) , the best is unquestionably the Squirrel Week Photo Contest Winners Gallery.

However, I’m not so lazy as to tell you just to look at these 38 amazing and delightful photos. No, I’m going to turn it into a full-blown Oscar-style extravaganza of honors for the pictures and their subjects. So I present to you now the Stars of Squirrel Week, rearranged as the nominees and winners of the Academy of Squirrel Still Photographic Arts and Sciences (ASSPAS) awards show – and its trophy, which is familiarly known as “The Nutsy.”

Of the 38 entries curated by John Kelly, I have found 32 of them worthy to be nominated in one of the eight categories below:
(The numbers in parentheses correspond to the order in which photos are presented in the Squirrel Week Photographic Gallery)

Action Photography/Stunts
Squirrel attacking a mourning dove (#10)
A giant leap (#13)
Fox squirrel eating little red tree buds (#22)
The big scratch (#23)
….And the Nutsy goes to:
“Squirrel Attacking a Mourning Dove”

Art Direction (Best Composition/Use of Color)
Squirrel and magenta crape myrtle (#1)
Five gray squirrels and a red chair (#6)
Black squirrel in green grass (#20)
White squirrel with a tan nut (#21)
….And the Nutsy goes to:
“Five Gray Squirrels and a Red Chair”

Set Design
Squirrel in the center of a wreath (#4)
Squirrel riding a tractor (#12)
Squirrel in a golf cart (#16)
Squirrel in the window of NYC apartment (#24)
Squirrel at a champagne picnic (#35)
…And the Nutsy goes to:
“Squirrel in the Center of a Wreath”

Costume Design
Squirrel in a unicorn mask (#30)
Squirrel turns its tail into a fur coat (#33)
…And the Nutsy goes to:
“Squirrel in a Unicorn Mask”

Best Performance by a Non-Squirrel
Chipmunk in Yellowstone Park (#2)
Arctic groundhog in Denali National Park (#11)
Human splayed out on the concrete imitating a splayed-out squirrel (#14)
Fox squirrel yawning (#19)
Chipmunk feeding inside a feeder guard-wire (#28)
…And the Nutsy goes to:
“Human splayed out on the concrete imitating a splayed-out squirrel”

Special Mini-Nutsy for Best Performance by a Juvenile or Baby Squirrel
Baby squirrel dangling by its foot as mother moves it to their new home in a tree box (#25)
Baby squirrel asleep in a towel (#36)
Young squirrel and its nest-mate, peeping out from hole in tree (#37)
…And the Nutsy goes to:
“Baby Squirrel Dangling by Its Foot as Mother Moves It to Their New Home in a Tree Box”

Best performance by a Squirrel in a Supporting Role: (Given to the Lesser/Smaller Squirrel of a Photographed Pair)
The right-hand squirrel in nose-to-nose mirror-like pose (#5)
Squirrel pausing while eating watermelon with a friend (#17)
Squirrel losing boxing match to a bigger, tougher squirrel (#18)
Small squirrel clinging to a branch while larger one reaches toward feeder (#26)
…And the Nutsy goes to:
“Right-hand Squirrel in Nose-to-Nose Mirror-like Pose”

Best Performance by a Leading Squirrel:
Squirrel on top of parking meter – “Time’s Up!” (#7)
Squirrel framed by feeder window (#9)
Squirrel eyeing nuts in a hedgehog bowl (#15)
Squirrel inside an empty feeder while birds wait outside (#27)
Squirrel emerging from the top of a feeder (#29)
….And the Nutsy goes to:
“Squirrel Framed by Feeder Window”

And now for the grand finale, the biggest award of all, going to the producer of Squirrel Week (now celebrating its 10th anniversary!):
The Nutsy Goes To:

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.   

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