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They like our pine trees, so we frequently see them running around. In winter they come to our bird feeder where they drive away all the smaller birds and just about hold their own against their bigger cousins, the grey and black squirrels.

When we arrived back late one afternoon we wondered why there was so much squirrel-chatter. When we checked it out there was a rat snake coiled on a branch of the pine tree just in front of our house and a red squirrel frantically taunting it and diving at it. This went on for some time, with the squirrel moving to different positions around the snake, but the snake not moving other than to aim its head at the squirrel.

After looking carefully we saw that at the back of the pine by the branch where the snake was coiled there was a hole, which must have been the squirrel's nest. And there were bulges in the belly of the snake which must have been the squirrel's babies. The squirrel's chest shows some signs of blood, so probably she had suffered a bite from the snake defending her kids. The whole encounter lasted about an hour, the squirrel eventually leaving and the snake staying on the branch to digest.