I have truly been rewarded for sitting at my home desk this Sunday afternoon working on the end of year report for 4th day consecutively. The view from my desk faces north, is a heavily wooded area, across from my front yard.

A fast movement caught my eye, to my surprise it’s a large beautiful greyish white body with the longest tail and black face, what I assumed a squirrel. It hopped, ran, stopped, and jumped slightly in jerky movements. You know how squirrels move, like an old silent movie where each screen advances, starting, stopping – not a smooth flow. In the nano of a second from when I looked up to see (him or her), my mind was saying “get the camera, where is it, in the kitchen charging.”

I was afraid if I ran to get camera, I would miss the little parade. So, I stayed seated and enjoyed (him or her) making its way across the yard. It moved briskly into the tall pasture grass just at edge of woods across the road and disappeared into the woods. The sighting was all of two maybe three minutes, for sure not risking chance to run for the camera, was my best decision.

A Tie for Most Beautiful Creature I’ve Seen

Photo by Janice Carriger

I do so want to have my own photograph for future presentations on wildlife and proof I saw one. I’ll for sure keep my eyes peered more closely from now on. I have always said the Painted Bunting was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, but today, I admit, the Sherman Fox squirrel is tied for ‘that most beautiful category’.

The distinct black head, large silvery body, and long tail makes them easy to identify. The mammal can weight up to 3 lbs. living in its natural habitat around long leaf and sand pine forest. Their favorite are pine seeds but eat other nuts and fruit as well. It’s native to South Georgia and North Florida and luckily has been remove from the ‘species of special concern’ list, because of their comeback in population since hurricane Michael destroyed much of their habitats. Thank you, (Mr. or Ms.) Sherman Fox squirrel for making my day.

by Lisa Strange

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.


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