NAKASATSUNAI, Hokkaido -- A Hokkaido squirrel was recently spotted playing in the colorful autumn trees as it stored food in preparation for winter at a forest near this village in Japan's northernmost prefecture.
The squirrel is about 20 centimeters long, excluding the tail, and is characterized by its raised hairs on its ears. The animals don't hibernate and move around actively as they hide food in the ground in autumn to eat in the leaner months ahead.
A squirrel was seen jumping to a nearby maple tree after eating pine nuts and then darting about through the colorful leaves.
(Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido Photo Group)