Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Black squirrels, oh, my May 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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Squirrel number one scampers from the park across the street as soon as I approach with my camera. I don't have a telephoto lens, thus the distant view.

Squirrel number one scampers from the park across the street as soon as I approach. (I don’t have a telephoto lens.)

NO, THIS IS NOT one of those “Why did the chicken squirrel cross the road?” joke stories.

Rather, I am wondering, have you ever seen a black squirrel?

I manage to get a bit closer to squirrel number two.

I manage to get a bit closer to squirrel number two.

I hadn’t until last weekend while at City Park in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.

My second daughter, who attended college in western Wisconsin and now lives on the eastern side of the state, couldn’t believe I’d never, in nearly 60 years of life, seen anything but grey or red squirrels.

My husband also had never spotted a black squirrel although he once saw an albino in the woods on his central Minnesota childhood farm home.

There are plenty of trees in Appleton's City Park, where I snapped one quick shot before the squirrel scooted out of camera range.

There are plenty of trees in Appleton’s City Park, where I snapped one quick shot before the squirrel scooted out of camera range.

I don’t recall any squirrels on my native southwestern Minnesota prairie farm while growing up. Maybe the shortage of trees had something to do with their absence.

In any case, I was intrigued by the two black squirrels in City Park. My daughter found my interest rather amusing. Sometimes it just doesn’t take much to entertain me.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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26 Responses to “Black squirrels, oh, my”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Yep—I have seen black squirrels although they aren’t nearly as common as the others. Nice pictures even without a telephoto lens. 🙂

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    Cute lil buggers. We have them all around Red Wing.

  3. Marilyn Says:

    Somewhere I have a newspaper cutting from my hometown paper that shows all three colors of squirrels in one photo: black, red, gray.

  4. I’m with you. I find black squirrels fascinating because I haven’t seen very many of them. I used to see them occasionally in northern Ohio at my uncle-in-law’s house.

  5. pkpm519 Says:

    Dennison MN has a large colony of black squirrels! I know you get around the area a lot, so thought you might have seen them there! Read your blog every day. Originally from Dundas, now living in St Paul. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I, too, have rejoiced in the wonderful smell of dirt as the farmers get into their fields in the spring.

    • You got that right. You can’t take the country out of the girl. Happy to have you on board as a reader.

      So, a colony in Dennison, hmmm, will need to keep my eyes wide open next time I’m over there.

  6. We have a neighborhood black squirrel and I think he’s (he? she?) is absolutely beautiful. We had a couple of white squirrels around here for a couple of years, but they’re gone from our little area now. One of the white ones, which was huge, used to run across the power lines that border our yard every single morning. I kind of miss him.

  7. The 1st hood I moved to in my early-20’s had a black squirrel and a white/cream squirrel – takes you by surprise the first time you see a non-brown squirrel – ha! Love the pic climbing the tree – cute 🙂 Happy Holiday Weekend – Enjoy & Have FUN!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing. Heck I’ve never seen a squirrel that wasn’t red. Great pictures.

  9. Emily Grace Says:

    I’ve never seen a black one either! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Jackie Says:

    I have seen black, but only once, also seen albino once. I find squirrels rather creepy looking! When we first built our home here there were no squirrels to speak of because there were no trees, now…. they are abundant.

  11. cecilia Says:

    I love that you love the little details, even black squirrels, i have never seen one here either but when I lived in vancouver there were piles of them there.. c

  12. I live near Battle Creek park in St. Paul, and over the ten years I have lived there, slowly there have been more and more black squirrels. There is even one that has a white tip on his tail! I thought it was a skunk at first!!!! I wonder if the climate changing has driven them up here from Iowa? Just a thought. I thought it was nuts (no pun intended) when I saw those little guys!!! I hardly even see red squirrels or chipmunks….

  13. sue Says:

    I know I’m a little late for the party, but I saw one in St.Cloud about a week ago.


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