“Crasher Squirrel” of Banff

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 9, 2009 10:41 am

If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s almost too good to be true.

On an average day in May, Melissa and Jackson Brandts were hiking in Banff National Park.  While alongside Lake Minnewanka, the couple took out their camera and captured a spontaneous moment that has brought smiles and joy to many.  A bushy-tailed member of the Sciuridae family joined the Brandts photo op.  A squirrel, now known as “Crasher Squirrel”, will make the famous debut in National Geographic‘s November issue.  All thanks to the push of a wireless remote shutter.

“The little squirrel had been running around while we were getting the shot set up,” Brandts said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I was joking with my husband that I hoped he was friendly because he was getting awful close and kind of scampering around our feet and stuff.”

“All of a sudden he popped back up because he heard the shutter releasing, the clicking of the camera. The only thing we can figure is that he thought it was going to give him food or something,” Brandts said.

“He popped right up and looked right into the camera, and we were laughing so hard because we were like ‘get it, get it!’ and we were trying to get the remote to fire. So we got a couple of pictures — took a couple of pictures with him there, and then he ducked down and proceeded to run away.”

“We didn’t realize how good it was until we got back to the hotel that night and downloaded it to my husband’s computer, and when we could see it on the full screen we were like, ‘Whoa, are you serious?’”

“We had no idea it was going to turn out exactly like it did with him being in perfect focus, us being out of focus, and then us just laughing in the background. We weren’t sure if he’d be standing like in front of one of us or something like that.”

Melissa and Jackson Brandts submited their photo to National Geographic’s online “Your Shot” contest.  This was quite the stepping stone and the “Crasher Squirrel” has a Facebook group “Nuts the Squirrel is a Legend”, Banff National Park is using the squirrel in advertising on the park’s website, and the Brandts even appeared on NBC’s “Today” Show.

Mountains, a laughing couple, and an unforgettable critter.  There’s nothing left to say, the Brandts will have the best holiday card.  Hands down.

I wonder if the “Crasher Squirrel” can ski?