An Abert’s Tassel-Eared Squirrel, curled up high in her dreams, envisioned her costume before completing every detail herself.
Starting with the ruffled leaves of Wild Geranium and silvery wands of Mountain Mahogany, she secured curly needles from Ponderosa Pine with grape vines. “I stuffed bunches of lichen here and there,” she said. “It looks like shredded upholstery.” During frequent skirmishes with the woodpeckers, she deftly snatched a few scarlet feathers to inflame the tips of her ears. (A Scrub Jay simply donated one of his.) She wove a satchel from pine needles and tough grasses, appliqued a leathery oak leaf, then filled it with precision tools she had taken from a jeweler’s shop. “No problem getting in there!” she giggled. “But I eschewed acorn jewelry. Please. So gauche. I found GOLD–the gleaming legs of June Beetles, dropped by dining bats.”