Surprise in the spring sunshine

My garden may be small but it is surrounded by fir trees along with an old chestnut tree. As a result I get a lot of different animals visiting my garden the whole year round. Birds, in particular, are very at home in my garden; sitting in the branches and on the birdbath, sheltered by the trees.
A little while ago I saw a red squirrel almost every day. With her fluffy tail, I often see her crouching in the garden and dashing up the tree trunks quick as a flash. If I kept completely still she was not disturbed by my presence and I was able to watch her from a distance through my binoculars.
In spring, my little red friend suddenly stopped coming. When the first sunny days tempted me outside, I took my binoculars, the ZEISS CONQUEST HD 10x42 and scoured the trees. But there was no sign of "my" squirrel.

Over the next few days I often looked out at the garden from behind my window, but to no avail. There was no squirrel to be seen. Perhaps she had found a nicer place to be? A few weeks later, I had only seen the busy little creature once in passing and I had almost given up hope. Then, as I was watching a green woodpecker through my binoculars I caught a glimpse of something red at the base of the tree. I adjusted my binoculars down, focussed them and was astonished to see that "my" small rodent friend hadn't left after all. She had started a family! Three little squirrels sat there in the grass. She must have hidden her drey somewhere up in the top of the trees. They huddled there together, ready to flee into their hiding place at the slightest noise. I kept completely still and watched for a while as they explored their surroundings, cautiously but full of curiosity. It felt as if I was lying in the grass next to them, they looked so close and distinct. I have my ZEISS CONQUEST HD 10x42 to thank for that. It always stands there ready so that I don't miss anything.

Whenever I see a red squirrel now I ask myself if it is perhaps one of those babies that I was lucky enough to see taking its first steps.