Tuesday, 5 November 2013

nuts for squirrels

Some people regard these furry tailed tree-rats as vermin. Maybe so, but they are pretty cute vermin. (I have something of an appreciation for rats anyway.) They may not be as cute as their red cousins but they certainly give you a warm welcome at the Botanics if you happen to turn up with a bag of nuts.

I took photos and shot movies at a couple of points, trying to get a scenic backdrop. Firstly up near the art gallery where the chap above was dodging about. I was surprised not to be mobbed by pigeons at the rustle of the food bags. I think the breeze discouraged them or stopped them hearing the dinner gong - usually they descend in droves as soon as you stop and go into your backpack.

Later on I stopped where the sun made a circle of light between the trees and I saw three or more squirrels prepared to audition. There was a female who was particularly forward - no doubt as she had a nest of youngsters nearby. She is the one in the video doing most of the talking - sometimes it seems in response to the other squirrels encroaching on her territory; sometimes it seemed either in appreciation of the nuts or asking for more. She was certainly fearless about grabbing my hands to search for peanuts and then sitting close by - right inside the bag if I'd let her, while stuffing her face. 

The video quality seems to have dropped a notch between editing and posting on vimeo. I must examine the file exporting options. The original footage was crisp and unpixilated. I think the problem may be the speed of the critters as they cross the screen. I shot about 10 minutes and edited it down to less than 2. The music is from a favourite classical piece: elements from the second movt. of Ravel's string quartet in F.

Additional: as a post script I have re-uploaded the vimeo file. It is now a .wmv file under 70MB rather than the original mpeg4 file of 86MB. I tried various exports from the edit and all the mpeg4s were a bit jumpy even changing the bit-rates to take it up to 115MB for under 2 mins film. (And they were all the same on-screen size/proportion as the windows file: 1280 x 720.) If anyone knows all about this stuff they might get in touch. Thanks!

Original mpeg4 file deleted from Vimeo

No comments:

Post a Comment