The red squirrel closed its eyes for just a moment – ‘as if in prayer’, thought Mats – then resumed its search for food. Mats had walked the forest every day, often stopping to watch the squirrels in this spruce tree. For him, the creature’s demeanour on this cold February morning encapsulated the spirit of winter.
Winter is a tough time for many animals. Some hibernate to escape its rigours, but not the red squirrel. It endures the cold mornings of winter foraging for seeds, nuts and insects. They favour woodland with coniferous trees – ensuring a year-round supply of seeds – and store food to help see them through lean times.
Nikon D3; 300mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f2.8; ISO 800.
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Mats Andersson, Sweden
Mats studied photography at the Industrial Art School in Gothenburg, then worked as an art director and photographer in the advertising industry. He has been art director and photographer at Concret Advertising in Jönköping (Sweden) since 1989, and has worked with photo agency Maskot in Stockholm since 2009. He was elected to the Swedish Association for Nature Photographers in 2011.