‘Dem Be Those Grey Ones

My turn to be on watch, so fired up the ol’ laptop and I thought I’d make another quick post. Even though there is a lot of things going on, there are huge swaths of time just sitting in a chair that need to be put to productive use or I’ll go insane. Last week I spent the time doing a massive frequency analysis of the entire English language and built an impressive spreadsheet as an “aid” to my daily Wordle efforts – old IT guys never miss an opportunity to codify logic problems. This week I’m trying to put out a few posts to see if I can keep my monthly quota streak going. Granted these are word sparse compared to the norm, but I’m sure you would rather look at the pictures than read my ramblings anyway. Oh, and since I really do not have the time to dig into bird species research, you will probably notice a theme.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Yep, continuing the topic from the last post – more furballs! Apologies for those of you that may not take to kindly to these creatures (and I know you are out there ha). Before I get through this month you are going to feel like someone took a Squirrel, dunked it in a barrel of ice cold water and tail smacked you right across the face. Sorry, I don’t even have a muskrat to offer you to towel off with. What I do have is the first set of images taken from our Lake Tahoe trip.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump if you are up for some squirreling around!

Apparently, there is a Western Grey Squirrel and an Eastern Grey Squirrel. Hell if I can tell the difference beyond one seems to hang out in the east and one hangs out in the west. Clearly I do not have a naturalist/biology degree.. although I did my obligatory dissection of an innocent frog and can tell a man from a woman. Honorary degree anyone!?! My blogger friend B. in the UK did educate me on how the Eastern was introduced into Europe. My apologies for that, but maybe poetic justice in kind to the hordes of Starlings and House Sparrows we have to deal with thanks to Shakespeare.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

It does intrigue me that this first set of images featured a specimen without the common white belly typically seen in both the western and the eastern variety. Maybe this is some other derivative (please correct me in the comments) or possibly going through a seasonal transition. These were taken in May and it was surprisingly cold up there. By the way, take a look at those claws in the shot above – turn your back on them and they might cut out your kidney and sell it on the black market.

Now let’s move back to the east where I’m a bit more familiar with that bushy tailed variety.

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

There’s the white belly I am more familiar with. This is the variety that hangs out in our woods. I kind of feel for them as they represent the main course for the Coyote packs that reign terror on anything that wanders too far from a tree or hole. After years of negotiations, we have finally come to a truce with the Squirrels on the bird feeder front. For the price of a weekly handful of seed at an agreed upon spot along the tree line at a mutually benefit time, they promised to stopped launching grapplers at my feeders. Honestly, I was just surprised they could even read the contract, much less sign it.

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

These shots of the Eastern were taken at Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden, Alabama. Linda found this place while looking for places to stay on our trip down to Dauphin Island last year. Linda’s specialty is waterfall photography and there was a campground right next to these falls. The campground itself was okay (we had to request a different site as the first one they gave us had the power situated on the wrong side for RVs). We ended up only a 5-10 minute walk from the falls… and more importantly, we found an extensive series of trails so I could log a badly needed 13 mile training run – those trails will definitely test your hill running shape.

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

We found this specimen hanging out on the roof of a nearby picnic pavilion. It didn’t seem too pleased it’s afternoon siesta had been rudely disturbed.

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

I thought for sure it would take off, or move or at least twitch due to having the Beast pointed directly at it. Nope, just hung there with those back claws sunk deep in the shingles. Life was good, no Coyote worries up there!

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

Eventually the little bundle of fur closed its eyes and drifted off to slumberland with dreams of a acorns dancing in its head.

Grey Squirrel found at Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, AL in April 2021

Time to catch some shut-eye of my own. Take care everyone. Hope you enjoyed another squirrely series. Stay tuned, will try to type you again real soon. I promise to get to any comments as soon as I can.

24 thoughts on “‘Dem Be Those Grey Ones”

    1. Easy there Vic, you don’t want to pull a muscle or anything ha! Like the other one, this comment got caught up my spam filter as well – funny as others from you have obviously gone through and there there were no links in your comment. Apologies nonetheless and appreciate you coming by.

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    1. So, we do not have the small red or the black ones here in the heartland as regular residents. There are some black ones at least up in the Davenport IA area and I’ve found a lone black one hanging out in the woods where I do a lot of my training run – beyond that we just have the Greys and thanks to Brad who solved a mystery for me below, now know the Fox variety. Not, just a secret between you and I, there might be something on the way that might touch up on those options… shhhhhhh hehehe. Appreciate you dropping in CJ, hope all is well across the pond.

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  1. Awww. Cute little buggers when they aren’t raiding my bird feeders.
    Some of the the little greys near us have white fur on their ears, others do not. One source said those with white on their ears are the Easter Grey’s. Other sources not as definitive.
    We also have the red fox squirrels which dwarf the little Grey’s near the feeders.
    No white or black in my yard . . . so far.
    Hang in there B.

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    1. MYSTERY SOLVED!! I didn’t mention it in the post, but there are a few what I thought were “mutant” Squirrels in my yard that did not have the cotton ball belly. Saw your Red Fox reference and immediately went to the net. Sure enough, the Red Fox is easily distinguished by having a rufous belly. They are definitely much larger than the Easterns. I am a bit worried though, as I do not have any established negotiations with the Red Foxes assuming my Eastern agreement covered both. As I mentioned to CJ above, I did find a black Squirrel while training at Farmdale Reservoir. Would love for a few more of those to show up. Not likely to get the whites though as they are an escaped colony in Brevard NC (maybe a stowaway, next time we are in the area…just saying). Ima hanging, but this is draining for sure. Appreciate you for coming by .. and for educating me on the Fox.

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      1. There are a few black squirrels showing up around our area. There is also a colony of white squirrels in the Public Gardens of Boston. I’ll not be much more specific on the location so the hoards of cameras don’t scare them. Where a friend lives near Chicago, the Red Fox squirrels are showing up with large grey patches down their flanks, as well as the tiny Grey’s having red highlights. Cross pollination?

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      2. Was not aware there was another colony of Whites in Boston – wonder where they came from. The Brevard colony was originated from escapees of a traveling circus. I would lean to the cross pollination as well, although there is little science applied there. Will have to make it out your way to see those Blacks (translated, find one, scoop it up and bring it to our woods.. with its mate of course, I’m not barbaric ha).

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    1. That was absolutely hilarious – pretty much summed up the carefree life I was heading into with my recent retirement at the time – thinking more of an Adirondack chair vs a hot shingle roof, but to each his own – I always look forward to those Owlet(s).

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  2. I am always looking for these cute creatures but never was able to capture them because they move so fast. You got the fantastic photos of squirrels. They are very enjoyable to look at. The photo of squirrel hanging out on the roof made me smile. It’s funny!

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    1. You are absolutely correct, these hyper creatures are almost constantly on the move and I usually have to wait until they stop to refuel before I can get decent shots of them. .. or when they are just chilling on the roof ha. Glad I could make you smile Kaya, appreciate you taking the time to drop in.

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  3. Wonderful photos, when I lived in Iowa there was no shortage of a variety of squirrels. We had one in our back yard that had white paws, I named her Mittens, but it is true that they can be a nuisance, they ate everything and dug lots of holes. But they are still fun to watch and photograph. Now where we live there is only the little red squirrels. Cute and fast little buggers. šŸ™‚

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    1. I was actually shocked to find out there were Black Squirrels in the Davenport area. Linda made fun of me the first time we encountered them up there as I was running all around trying to get them in the tin. Had to explain to her we didn’t have them 1.5 hrs south. She denied all my repeated requests to round up a bunch in the car and drive them down. I’ve seen a white pawed Squirrel (that were not all white) – love the name. Hmmmmm, Red Squirrels you say… did you sneak a peak at my favorite Squirrels list!?!

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  4. Rooftop snooze photos are totally cute – and the furballs among the pink flowers are wonderful. Frequency analysis for Wordle sounds interesting – maybe you could do a post on that sometime? My friends all beat me at Wordle, but I enjoy playing anyway – fun to do with the first coffee of the day while the world is still quiet.

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    1. Glad you liked those Sam – when I spotted it on the way to the falls I had to get it in the tin. I had never heard of Wordle up until a few weeks ago. My oldest brother Dan mentioned he and his family were doing it every day and sharing the results. That roped my other brother Ron and I into the daily reporting. Brought it up to my wife only to find out she had been doing it for months and didn’t want me to know “Because I’m too competitive”. Well, she knows me all too well (but she STILL went through with marrying me ha). Three highly educated brothers is a recipe for ruthless competition so we each have developed strategies to help give us an edge (standard distributions of letters use, frequency of coupled letters, full on positional letter analysis providing a matrix of highest used letters per position, ranking of secondary word selections based on results of previous entries, backward trending measured against likelihood of future letter combinations…). Some day it would be fun to post on the incredible amount of data engineering that has been leveled against this game.. but for now I can’t risk it getting in the hands of my brothers hehehehe. Thanks for stopping by Sam and good luck on tomorrow’s Wordle.

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