There are several different squirrels living in The Sea Ranch. The little fellow depicted here is Douglas Squirrel, Tamiasciurus douglasii (aka Chickaree or Pine Squirrel). You will find him in our conifers all over The Sea Ranch. He particularly loves pine cone seeds. He has to stay clear of Owl and Hawk and Fox, but he seems to do pretty well and you will see him often if you follow the sound of his distinctive vocalizations. John Muir described his chatter very well in The Mountains of California, published in 1894:

"One never tires of this bright chip of nature,—this brave little voice crying in the wilderness,—of observing his many works and ways, and listening to his curious language. His musical, piny gossip is as savory to the ear as balsam to the palate; and, though he has not exactly the gift of song, some of his notes are as sweet as those of a linnet—almost flute-like in softness, while others prick and tingle like thistles. He is the mocking-bird of squirrels, pouring forth mixed chatter and song like a perennial fountain; barking like a dog, screaming like a hawk, chirping like a blackbird or a sparrow; while in bluff, audacious noisiness he is a very jay." (The Mountains of California is a book worth reading if you like the outdoors.)

Douglas Squirrel

Douglas Squirrel

While you are here in The Sea Ranch, you will find a lot of our flora and fauna have Douglas in their names. They all refer to the 19th century Scottish Botanist, David Douglas. He made a name for himself during two expeditions to the Pacific Northwest in the 1820s and 1830s and became famous by collecting hitherto unknown plants from North America and bringing them back to England. Three of our favorites are notable - Douglas Fir, Douglas Iris and Douglas Squirrel. We can not imagine a better epitaph for a man that loved nature.

"He dwells safely in the deep bosom of the woods, the
most highly favored of all his happy tribe. May his tribe increase!
John Muir