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