This small brooch is by the sculpture Harriet Glen who is based in Dorset in the SW of England. The brooch is made of 18ct gold with a sapphire eye. Harriet lived in Australia before moving to the UK, she works from nature and her studio overlooks the countryside where she lives. She is perhaps best known for her bronze horse sculptures. Harriet’s attention to details and love of nature show through in the craftmanship and quality of her jewellery.
Squirrels are members of the Sciuridae family, which includes the Groundhog. In the USA 2nd February is Groundhog Day and according to an old tale, on that day the groundhog wakes up after sleeping through the winter. If it sees its shadow there will be six more weeks of winter and if it does not, spring will start early.
The predominant squirrel in the UK is the Grey Squirrel, we have a number who come into our garden everyday looking for food and burying it in my flower pots! The Red Squirrel is the native species in the UK and has been around for 10,000 years. Nowadays they are only found in the north of Scotland. The Victorians introduced the Grey Squirrel to the UK from North America and they have never looked back.
The Irish poet William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) wrote a poem about the squirrel in his poetry collection Responsibilities and Other Poems (1916).
by W. B. Yeats
Being out of heart with government
I took a broken root to fling
Where the proud, wayward squirrel went,
Taking delight that he could spring;
And he, with that low whinnying sound
That is like laughter, sprang again
And so to the other tree at a bound.
Nor the tame will, nor timid brain,
Nor heavy knitting of the brow
Bred that fierce tooth and cleanly limb
And threw him up to laugh on the bough;
No government appointed him.
WB Yeats 1923 the year he won the Nobel Prize for Literature