Last Saturday was not a good day for one of Monroe’s baby squirrels. That’s the day he fell out of the tree in front of the Monroe Walton Center for the Arts. The front of the center, however, was a good place for him to land – and he was lucky that Robin Humphrey and Maria Ramos were at the center to set up the upcoming fiber show when he fell.
“Robin actually was outside when he fell with a big thump out of the tree in front of the center,” said Hope Bennett Reese, director of the art center. Having raised several baby squirrels in the past, Reese was more than happy to step up and become a surrogate parent for this young member of Monroe’s wildlife community.
“I have raised oh at least six squirrels before and usually transition them to going outside when they are old enough to take care of themselves,” she said. “It’s done in stages.”
Being so young, with his eyes not yet open, Reese, with the help of some of the artists, has been responsible for his around-the-clock care. She said there was a moment that first night where she was a little concerned that she may lose him, but he rallied and is now getting stronger day-by-day. He spends much of his time eating and sleeping, at the center during the day – sometimes in the pocket of Reese’s apron – and at home with her during the night. Reese has been sharing pictures of his progress on the art center’s Facebook page and Weft the squirrel boy, as he’s been named, is getting quite a following.
“Weft is a weaving term. When you weave the warp goes one way and the weft goes the other,” Reese said. “Maria and Robin named him in honor of the Fiber Show. He has gotten a lot of attention from the artists and I think at least one artist is thinking about painting him. We have worked hard to reach out to our community with the beauty and healing nature of art. How fun it is that a little baby squirrel is doing his part to call attention to the vibrant art scene in Monroe.”
At this time Reese is not sure exactly when Weft will be returned to his natural habitat, but in the meantime, he’s enjoying life in Monroe’s thriving art community.
“I’m not sure what we will do. We will listen to Weft and do what’s best for him,” Reese said. “My backyard is full of huge oak trees and I have tons of squirrels so I know he would be happy and relatively safe there. He is so little and precious right now, it’s hard to imagine letting him go.”
If you want to follow Weft’s progress, click or tap on this link and like Monroe – Walton Center for the Art’s Facebook page. Reese regularly shares photos and videos of Weft the squirrel boy as he adapts to his new temporary home in her care.