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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
Quote for the Day 
7th-Nov-2009 09:55 am
tea enjoy every moment
Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. Terry Pratchett


We had a visitor in the garden yesterday. The black squirrel is relatively common in this part of Hertfordshire but it's the first year they have started coming into the garden. I took the shot through the conservatory window which is in need of a bit of a clean, hence the 'smoky' smear. The light was very dim and I didn't have time to change to the big lense on my camera. This is a cropped version of the original.
Click through for larger image.
black squirrel


The first black squirrel reported in neighbouring Letchworth was on Norton Common in 1944. The first pub selling alcohol in the town (and the only one until the Town Elders changed the local regulations a few years' ago) was The Black Squirrel (now re-named The Globe)


Black squirrels look smaller than greys, are as long, but less stocky, and with a skinny tail. Genetically they are melanic (dark pigmented) grey squirrels and can inter breed with greys. Melanic grey squirrels were introduced to Woburn Park (Bedfordshire) from the U.S. at the end of the 19th Century. Letchworth has one of the largest colonies in the United Kingdom.

Video ©Friends of Howard Park



Off for another pot of tea and another chapter of Good Omens, the audiobook - for which many warm thanks to the very generous and thoughtful spikereader

Comments 
7th-Nov-2009 10:39 am (UTC)
My black squirrels have been eating like mad so they're currently about twice the size of your squirrel. Not sure what that says about the upcoming Winter...
7th-Nov-2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
Probably nothing, or perhaps "These squirrels are greedy little buggers."
7th-Nov-2009 11:42 am (UTC)
They're scary! :(
7th-Nov-2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
No they're not. They're just not as cute as little red squirrel nutkin in your icon.
7th-Nov-2009 11:51 am (UTC)
He is a very handsome lad - I had never come across black squirrels before.
7th-Nov-2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Neither had we unti we moved here. I still get a great kick every time I see one, though not as great as the time we saw a red squirrel while on holiday in the New Forest.
7th-Nov-2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
I've never seen a black squirrel before - in fact I don't even think I even knew there were such things. So that's today's new thing learnt.

Glad the package arrived safely (and very promptly too, so much for Royal Mail backlog). I listened to the last little bit yesterday on the way home from work, but as I have acquired Death Masks (admittedly by nefarious means) that will be in the car from Monday and Mr Strange will have to wait. Do you listen to the Dresden books - if so and you want it I can copy and send that too.

Have a good weekend.
7th-Nov-2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm mesmerised by that fabulous icon. That was a great TV moment.
7th-Nov-2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
I grew up in an area where black squirrels were common, so I've always found greys kind of exotic.

Squirrels are supposed to be very tasty, actually. My LJ-friends mieszko and bridger both hunt them pretty frequently. I'd give hunting them a shot myself, but in my area we only have pine squirrels, which are a) hors d'oeuvre sized, b) not fair game, and c) reportedly taste like turpentine due to their pine-based diet.
7th-Nov-2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
I would have thought most squirrels would taste like rat, though I suppose diet does affect flavour. Our milk tastes sweet in the winter when the cows are fed sugar beet.
7th-Nov-2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! I've never seen a black squirrel before... very cool!

Around here, we're lucky to occasionally catch a glimpse of something other than an Eastern Grey Squirrel (not native to the area, but taking over the squirrel niche from the indigenous squirrels).
7th-Nov-2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
I get a great kick every time I see one.
7th-Nov-2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
I had never seen a black one until we visited Petzi in Michigan. Weird, huh?
7th-Nov-2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
They seem to be common in Petzi's part of the world.
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