Squirrels are extremely introverted, but Geert Weggen had these woodland squirrels right at home and relaxed after he set up a makeshift ‘studio’ in his cold but hospitable back garden. Weggen equipped his house in the Swedish village of Bispgarden with camera gear, lighting and some wintery backgrounds, including platforms covered in ice, pine cones, and red berries.
Weggen is a Dutch-born 46-year-old who works as a jack-of-all-trades handyman. He operates his own company called Hardeko, which made it easy for him to create these kind of set-ups. He then used it to lure the squirrels along with some seeds and nuts. The result is these amazing series.
“Animals will do almost anything for food and every animal will get used to a human in time,” said Weggen. “They will come very close or even touch me as long as I respect their boundaries. For me animals are honest. I love that. They surprise me and make me laugh. I use mostly sunflower seeds and peanuts to entice the squirrels, and I feed them walnuts or hazelnuts to reward them.”
Squirrels are part of the family Sciuridae, which are small or medium-size rodents. The family is comprised of ground squirrels, chipmunks, tree squirrels, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, as well as prairie dogs. Squirrels are native to Eurasia, the Americas, and Africa, and have been introduced to Australia.
Red squirrels do not confront a similar threat as in most parts of Europe as they do in the UK, where American greys were introduced in the 1870s and now massively outnumber their red variety, due mostly to carrying a pox which is lethal to their hairier relative.
Weggen further describes himself as “a man who lives with and in magic. Creation and to create is my life. Love in light are my goals and my living.”
See his amusing squirrel photos here.