Thanks to Ron pulling triple watch duty, Linda and I were able to take a quick trip down to St. Louis for a long weekend. This was supposed to be the return leg of our Dauphin Island migration birding trip before that was canceled. The break allowed us to come down for a memorial service for one of Linda’s relatives who passed away last year. Linda’s relatives are scattered from end to end across the states and they wanted to get everyone together as a memorial/reunion in her honor. They had a really nice memorial for her – although it came with a bit more emotion given our current situation. It was great to see the extended families and get caught up on the various happenings. Sorry Facebook, there is no substitute for real social interaction. Second of our events this weekend is Raven’s running at the Poodle Agility Nationals down here at Purina Farms. Raven will be up against the best Poodles here and abroad (at least those that can and are willing to travel out of their countries). The following day I have an appointment with a surgeon to go over some options. One packed longish weekend for sure – again, big thanks to Ron for putting in the extra time.
Unfortunately, this has also made me extremely exhausted as I didn’t get much sleep in the days leading up to the travel down. I still wanted (needed) to get a post out so let me introduce you to tonight’s featured furry friend
Hit the jump to see more of this cute Black S’more Lovin’ Squirrel.
If you have been following the April posts, you probably are not surprised that I am once again featuring a member of the Squirrel family. This particular creature happens to be positioned at number 3 on my favorite Squirrels list. That’s right, one above the Greys that were featured in the previous post.
Now, some would say my list is a bit biased as the top three on the list are actually Squirrel members that we do not have in the Heartland where we live. Perhaps I am just bored with the local specimens and prefer the rare encounters with the other species . I can see how that may hold true, but in this case (as well as the first two on the list) these are just plain cuter in my opinion.
I also think these Black Squirrels and their kin higher on the list (yes, I’m being intentionally vague on the list) seem to have a lot more spunk and far more expressive. The Easterns will basically come running through the woods, stop for a brief bit, flash you the peace sign and ask you how it’s hanging before playing an extremely aggressive game of follow the leader Parkour style with a potential mate. They do have to have incredible cardio just to get close enough to ask one to go to the movies.
These Blacks are far more laid back and as long as you don’t move to fast and startle them, they’ll go about their business simply looking up every once in a while to make sure you do not have fangs or a set of razors extending out from a body of feathers. Pass that scrutiny and you can continue to photograph them at your heart’s content.
This particular specimen was found at Noccalula Falls State Park in Gadsden Alabama. Yes, that is the very same place where last post’s Grey was found hanging from the roofing shingle. In case you were wondering, the black variety do overlap with other family member regions. In case you missed it, friend of the blog Brad M. solved a mystery for me in his comment on the Eastern post. We do have an example of that locally as both the Grey and (recently learned) Fox Squirrel like to chase tail in our backyard. Note, with the recent species education I have not had the time to go back and reassess my favorite’s list to see where the Fox will fall. Definitely not in the top 3, but there is a possibility it can knock the Grey down a notch. Pssssst Greys, I can be bribed if you want to pool your pocket change and drop an Amazon gift card at my backdoor … just putting that out there.
Sorry, digressed there a bit, let’s get back to Mr. or Ms. Black – honestly, no clue if there as easy way to tell the sexes without risking a “Me Too” moment although this one did have nuts…budda bing – here all week folks.
I have to thank this particular specimen from keeping me going home empty tinned. I ran into several of them in the campground and opted to pass on taking shots. As a golden rule I try not to point my camera in the direction of people’s houses whether they are stationary or on wheels. Honestly, in this day and age I do not want to make anyone unnecessarily nervous or concerned. People are already on edge thanks to our sensationalist and divisive lamestream media, pointing large glass is just going to add additional sparks to the mix. Grit the teeth at the missed opportunity and move on.
Probably ground down some enamel at that campground as encounter after encounter consisted of the cutest Black Squirrel sitting on a picnic table in the middle of a campsite covered in white goo. Pity the fool camper that forgot to put away the S’more ingredients from the night before. Wake up, yawn, stretch, open the RV door or unzip the tent to a sugar drunk Squirrel covered in marshmallow asking for a wet wipe. Again, I’d have hilarious proof of this but for the golden rule.
Luckily, we spotted this specimen as we were leaving the campground. It is likely the previous occupants had packed up and left in haste after seeing the white frothing Squirrel outside their tent. This meant I was free to stop and get some shots. Hopped up on chocolate and marshmallows, this specimen was hamming it up for the camera – even gave us an SNL flex “Hans here, I want to pump you up”
At the end of my shots, better wrap this thing up. Raven starts his runs early in the morning and he wants his cheering squad there to get him motivated. Hope you enjoyed a look at my 3rd favorite Squirrel.