This creative activist throws miniature themed parties for the friendly squirrels who visit her.
A chance incident with some baby squirrels inspired animal lover Ashly Deskins to go above and beyond for the adorable mammals in her neighborhood. Reportedly, the infatuation with squirrels began when Deskins awoke one morning and spotted four injured babies that had fallen out of two nests in her backyard.
She watched as the mother retreated down the side of the tree and rescued two of the four. Because all had been injured in the fall, Ashly and her husband were quick to rush the two abandoned squirrels to a wildlife center. Unfortunately, the babies didn’t make it. She told The Dodo:
“My husband and I attempted to save the other two abandoned squirrels by rushing them to a wildlife center. Sadly, the injured babies did not survive, but the encounter sparked a special interest in the squirrels, which caused me to appreciate and enjoy them during my daily routine.”
After the experience, Deskins began to notice how many squirrels lived in her neighborhood. Because many would hang out on her back patio, she began to offer them treats, such as almonds. As they started snacking more and more frequently, she got an idea. The animal enthusiast decided to create little dining rooms where the squirrels could enjoy the nuts.
“It started with just some little props and eventually led to me buying flooring to create more detailed images,” Deskins explained. “By observing the squirrels, I can determine what they feel comfortable jumping on, moving around and what I can or can’t use. They were comfortable with the faux hardwood so I have continued to use that.”
The project-turned-hobby eventually resulted in Deskins setting up themed celebrations for the squirrels. From a Super Bowl party to a food truck celebration, each set is absolutely enchanting.
“They will explore the scenes looking for the almonds. I will usually set up a scene and it could be hours before any visitors come by, and even then, it can take several more hours before I can accomplish some finished images as they usually come, take their almonds and run. There are some that will stay and eat and hang out,” commented Deskins.
Because Deskins and her husband are visited by the squirrels on a regular basis now, they’ve given each one their own name. Neville, Luna, Lily and Severus are the most frequent visitors. Interestingly, Severus is suspected to be one of the babies who fell from the tree that fateful day.
“We have a black male squirrel that visits, called Severus, that has an injured leg,” Deskins said. “We are fairly confident he is one of the squirrels that fell from his nest that day it all started.”
People have loved the creative squirrel parties so much, Deskins created a calendar with some of the photos. If you’d like to learn more and follow the excitement, visit the squirrels’ Facebook page and Instagram account.
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