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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

They're here!

I have commented before on my tendency to want what I can't have, and a creature on my want list has been the North Parkersburg Black Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis parkersburgensis--okay, I made up the last part). While I know that the black squirrel is just a melanistic variation of an ordinary gray squirrel, I have been quite taken with the little rodents ever since I first learned of their existence a few years ago. What I learned only recently, however, is that historical biologists think that the black squirrel may have been the dominant form in the days of the Great Eastern Forest as the dark color would have given it an evolutionary advantage over its paler relatives. Deforestation and more light led to an advantage for the grays. I've seen no speculation on reasons for what seems to be a recent increase in the population of the darker squirrels.

But--at long last--the melanin-enhanced variant has found its way to our yard. This morning brought not one, but two, black squirrels racing up and down our oak trees and chasing a gray squirrel off the fence. This after the evening that had brought the return of the fireflies.

Life is good.

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