Squirrel pops into a vacation photo, taking the spotlight
Monday, August 17, 2009
Reported by: NBC News
If a normal picture is really worth a thousand words, there's no telling the value of one featuring a squirrel, mountains and a couple from Minnesota.
"We knew it was big when you type in 'squirrel' into Google, we come in above Wikipedia," said Melissa Brandts.
Back in May, Melissa and her husband Jackson seized a classic photo opportunity while hiking near Lake Minnewanka in Alberta's Banff National Park.
They set up their camera on some rocks, set the timer and held their remote.
Then the couple, who lives in Watertown, realized they weren't alone.
"This little guy, the little squirrel, had been running around on the rocks," Melissa said. "He must have thought it was a little food dispensary, and so he sort of was running around in the rocks and then ducked down and disappeared. And then all of a sudden, he scampered over and shot up right in front of the camera," Melissa said.
"I was clicking away, and I was hoping we'd get it," Jackson said.
And 'get it' they did.
The Brandts caught the little critter posing in front of the camera, alert and intrigued with what was happening.
The Brandts decided to share their photographic treasure with a wider audience. So Melissa first posted it to her Facebook page, then eventually, sent it to National Geographic.
From there, the picture went "viral" landing on websites throughout the world and appearing on network newscasts.
The squirrel has even earned his own Facebook Fan page where fans have called him, "Nuts, the Squirrel."
Melissa and Jackson haven't joined in the name game, focusing instead on the name of their new baby due in a few weeks.
At this point, Melissa and Jackson don't expect to turn a profit from their priceless picture, but they say they do enjoy the thought they're sharing their joy with so many others.
"It was such a fun moment for us, and now we just love that everyone else thinks it's so fun," Melissa said.
Do it yours there: