A Squirrel In A Tree

Day 9 - Squirrel Eating Nut Watercolor - Doodlewash

For our prompt of “nuts” today, I decided to sketch a little squirrel enjoying one as a treat. We have a friendly squirrel who often visits us on our terrace. I’m quite sure it’s likely a different squirrel each time, but it always seems like the same one. It will often come up to the window of the door and peer inside as if looking for something. This, of course, spurred Philippe and I to imagine an entire story for him. We named him Michael and we assume he must be looking for our dog Phineas. Since, we’ve no idea what Phineas does all day while we’re at work, we assume he throws little parties for his friends and that Michael is his best friend. Once, while Michael was peering in the window, Phineas rushed over to him and pawed at the window causing him to run away. We guessed that he was embarrassed by the affection or temporarily displeased with Michael as he still owed him money from yesterday’s poker game. I’ve no idea what the currency for such a game would be, since Michael undoubtedly prefers nuts and Phineas only prefers things made from pork. This could have also caused some of the irritation we witnessed, but we were sure the two would work it out in whatever way their friendship deemed appropriate. That’s just what good friends do.

While I realize most people talk for their dogs, Philippe and I seem to have progressed beyond that a bit. Phineas has quite a rich and complex life that’s quite easy to overlook while simply watching him snoring on the couch. When we have dinner parties, it’s referred to as Phineas Café, not because he actually cooks anything, but because he thinks he owns this restaurant. And he will go up to each guest and won’t leave until they tell him the dinner was wonderful or at least satisfactory. Indeed, his demeanor seems to say that he owns this house and all of its inhabitants as well. When I published by recent book, we imagine Phineas saying, “Oh, no! I’m an author now! How much can one little dog do?” He takes credit for everything that happens in our lives, and assumes he must be in charge of it in some way. Yes, he also has a blog, and if you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the one you’re currently reading. In truth, I’m not sure why Michael the squirrel would put up with such a demanding friend, but he’s back each day to check in on Phineas. The fun thing about imagination is that it becomes true in some way. Life would be terribly dull were it only filled with facts. And painting things in my imagination is almost as fun as penning them to paper or sketching them!

I’m secretly thrilled that Philippe loves to play these imagining games with me. We both adore bits of history and documentaries, but a world of pure imagination is a wonderful place indeed. As I type this, Philippe is actually watching a French documentary from a channel that he loves. Being a livelong geek myself, it was somehow comforting when he was just now bereft that he missed two of these documentaries while we were visiting family in Paris. “I missed TWO!” he exclaimed. “Which two?” I asked to which he replied, “The one on cod AND the one on pomegranates.” I have to admit to asking only because I already knew this show tended to focus on the most mundane and everyday things. “Can’t you just go back and watch them?” I asked to which he said, “No! They’re gone now! But, at least I didn’t miss the latest one so that’s good!” He’s currently watching an entire documentary on coconuts. In these moments, I just fall in love all over again. Our little family brings me lots of joy and though we don’t actually do crazy and newsworthy things, they are still things that enrich our lives. And perhaps this little lesson is all Michael is attempting to tell us as he visits each day. Life is often at its best when experienced with joyful simplicity, like a squirrel in a tree.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 9 - Squirrel Eating Nut Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

 

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
20 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    Ah, but the ‘most mundane and everyday things’ are the most marvelous things as well. We become jaded because we see them so often that we forget to pay attention to how marvelous they are. I’ll bet that’s the kind of thing that Michael and Phineas discuss each day! Love your squirrel!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Hehe! Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕I’m quite sure that’s exactly what Phineas and Michael discuss each day. They are very wise, those two!

  2. Claire McArthur 1 week ago

    Love your squirrel, love your household. Your doodles are a constant inspiration and your stories encourage me to take a lighter look at my life. Thank you 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Claire! 😃💕 That’s such a lovely comment! I’m so thrilled you enjoy these posts. I think a lighter look on life is always a fabulous thing indeed!

  3. Mary Roff 1 week ago

    Wonderful doodle and story.

  4. Lisa 1 week ago

    Aww! I have a squirrel that comes and gets in too of the bird feeder. Then he leans over the side, grabs a sunflower seed, and hangs upside down to eat it. It is so funny to see him just hanging there. Unfortunately, when I try to sneak open the door to take a photo, he always runs off, then sits in the maple tree and scolds me! Cheeky little guy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      hehe… he does sound like a cheeky little guy! And so cute! 😃💕 I love watching squirrels…. they always remind me just how wonderful life can be in the moment!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Yes, I’ve actually been a guest at one of parties thrown by Phineas! Michael was there, along with some other furry friends. It was a mad rush to get things back in order before you and Philippe arrived home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      I KNEW it! LOL 😃💕 I can tell by your comments that you’ve already been to our place and enjoyed a Phineas party! hehe… I love that!

  6. LoriCtoo 1 week ago

    Lol, I sketched a squirrel eating a nut too! Your sketch however is much more realistic than mine and could be put in one of those Nature books. Mine however, would be in a kids book. Tee hee. We have a squirrel who frequents too, but cautiously. We have a cat. However he has nothing to worry about, she’s not interested in squirrels. I think she got nipped by one in her younger faster years. Every Spring, I find peanuts stashed in my pots. He eats well at the neighbors house.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕hehe… I’m always all about the realism… I often wish I could sketch a bit more abstract, but it never really happens. hehe And funny that your cat had a squirrel interaction in her past that precludes her from chasing after them. They seem so sweet… I had no idea they could create that bit of trauma. 😉

  7. Jacob 1 week ago

    I had to chuckle at your cheeky squirrel! They always look so mischievous to me and that is why I love them. Long may Michael continue to visit!

    Magic in the mundane indeed. I had a friend who almost took a degree in Concrete Studies. Interesting, huh. I’m guessing there’s more to it than I imagine! I like the sound of a coconut documentary, though.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Haha! Concrete Studies sounds awesome! 😃💕 I’m quite sure Philippe would be interested! lol And yeah, I think squirrels are always up to something mischievous and that’s why I love them as well!

  8. memadtwo 1 week ago

    Squirrels have a particular look to their eyes and you’ve got Michael’s down.
    Stories make life rich…keep narrating! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕hehe… yeah, they DO have that look! I love squirrels… Michael, of course, most of all!

  9. smzang 7 days ago

    I love every word, and the portrait of Michael is just perfect!

    a long quote today, but it just can’t be split up!

    Charlie says: ” Phineas rushed over to him and pawed at the window causing him to run away. We guessed that he was embarrassed by the affection or temporarily displeased with Michael as he still owed him money from yesterday’s poker game. I’ve no idea what the currency for such a game would be, since Michael undoubtedly prefers nuts and Phineas only prefers things made from pork. This could have also caused some of the irritation we witnessed, but we were sure the two would work it out in whatever way their friendship deemed appropriate. That’s just what good friends do.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      hehe! Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you liked that bit. Yeah, both Philippe and I have quite an imagination… that’s very likely why we’re married. 😉

  10. Our squirrels are Squirrley and Raindrop Mackenzie and they enjoy throwing their peanut shells at our dog Miley, who puts up with it in the hope that the squirrel twins might have missed a nut!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

      Aww… I love that! 😃💕 Those names are awesome!! Poor Miley… hehe… so much to put up with to get a rouge treat!

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