Pretty pictures of squirrels

When I announced the inaugural Washington Post Squirrel Week Squirrel Photo Contest, I didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone even enter? Would the photos be blurry snapshots, hurriedly taken with a cellphone?

I needn’t have worried. Nearly 400 readers entered, and there were plenty of lovely images showing squirrels in all their glory. This shot, by Ian Richardson of Ashburn, Va., won the top prize:


Aren’t they the cutest things?

In an entirely different category is this entry from Tony Toppano of Oakland, Calif. He and his fiancee, Jennifer Hale, like walking around a nearby lake and photographing the squirrels. To liven things up, they often bring peanut butter-smeared props. That’s how Tony got this shot of the King with a hungry fan:


We have a lot of black squirrels in the Washington area. Every now and then a white squirrel pops up, too, like this one photographed by Aaron Springer of College Park, Md.:


As it turned out, a lot of the photos were out of focus, but this one was meant to be blurry. Rachel Roelke-Smith captured it when a very pushy squirrel grabbed her camera lens in Farragut Square:


Squirrels seem like nature’s busiest animals. They’re always scurrying, always busy. Don’t they ever find time to slow down? Apparently, they do. Here’s one that Michael Henry caught taking a nap:


These and the other finalists are on display — massively enlarged — in the front window of The Washington Post, at 1150 15th St. NW, through April 14. And to see even more squirrel shots, go here:

John Kelly writes "John Kelly's Washington," a daily look at Washington's less-famous side. Born in Washington, John started at The Post in 1989 as deputy editor in the Weekend section.
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