Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Well, not really. It just feels like it today. The winds are gone, the sun is out, the temps are stretching towards fifty degrees! We took our usual walk along the Province Lands Trail and it felt so good to be out we stretched the five and a half mile loop into a ten mile walk with side trips to Herring Cove and Race Point.

I took off my gloves, then my sweater, and when we came to our favorite dune we stayed there for over an hour. We split our time there between watching the ocean and napping.

On the way back to the Beech Forest, where our car was parked, we came upon an amazing sight. Eleven squirrels were using the bare branches of nearby trees for a race track. We watched them leap from branch to branch, from tree to tree. It was obviously play time for them and I listened to their squeaks and squeals and imagined it was their song of delight and they were saying the same thing Atticus and I were, "It's spring! It's spring!"

We watched them for a while and when we started moving they all stopped, like race cars on a toy track as if someone had cut out the power, and watched us move. Then they appeared to follow along, leaping with exuberance from tree to tree to shadow us until they came upon the last tree and there they all stopped - eleven of them! I thanked them for the entertainment and then Atti and I passed out of sight leaving them to play their squirrel games.

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