What is it about photographing squirrels that Ann Arborites, and especially Ann Arbor tourists, love? Walk anywhere near the Downtown vicinity and there is a safe bet you will site at least one individual with an Android photographing…What else? A squirrel! There’s no denying this phenomenon has been broaching the realm of cliché for quite awhile. After all, “Everybody’s doin’ it!”
Not to mention that the local squirrels are notoriously overweight due to the influx of treats tossed them by tourists (and not-so-tourists).
So why is it these chubby, abundant animals are so sticky and infectious to local smart phone psyche? Is it that a person is simply prone to favoring cute, cuddly things? Or is it that one wants more of a squirrel after innocently walking by a silent trashcan, only to have a sudden burst of a scurrying little creature explode out of it in her face! (Or maybe that’s just me…once.)
Whatever it may be, I have spent a lot of time mocking people taking photos of squirrels. I’ve even pondered creating a blog featuring photos of people who are taking photos of squirrels.
A couple days ago, however, I had a moderately enlightening experience. While taking photos of Diag scenery with my camera, a squirrel scurried toward a tree. I figured, “Hell, why not take a pic and see what all the hype is about?” So, I took the plunge and shot it…then discovered that I relished the challenge of keeping up with the creature to take more shots. It seemed to even ‘play’ with me at certain points, scurrying from one end of a tree, behind the tree, then to another end of the tree, all while intermittently making eye contact with me. There was a fun reward in catching a clear photo of the squirrel alerted by a bunch of noisy goth kids, causing it to stand on its hind legs and eagerly stretch its neck and head to see what all the racket was about.
So, even though the whole squirrel photography phenomenon is old news and seemingly not very clever/original, I’m not opposed to partaking in it again. I also won’t shake my head at others who partake in the pastime.