I think I have found something very strange. Today's post features the Gray Squirrel. I took these pictures while I was hiking at my latest discovered nature preserve. They're from almost a month ago now, and they were almost left behind forever, but there is an important reason for presenting them to you now.
After doing some research on Black Squirrels, I discovered many interesting things. There are supposedly four types of squirrels in Michigan, where I live. There are Fox Squirrels, Red Squirrels, Flying Squirrels, and Gray Squirrels. Did you notice I didn't list Black Squirrels?
I've read that black squirrels are really gray squirrels, but with extra melanistic pigment in their fur. After doing a lot of research on the subject, I now believe this is true. But this isn't the mystery I'm here to discuss today. There is another...
I've known for quite awhile that there are actually two types of gray squirrel. There is the Eastern Gray Squirrel and the Western Gray Squirrel. The eastern version is the kind related to the black squirrel. They are a medium sized squirrel, the same size as the black ones. They are the kind that live here in Michigan. That's where the mystery comes in.
The squirrel in my pictures was just about the biggest squirrel I've ever seen. It was about as big as a very large fox squirrel, which are larger than most. Western gray squirrels are also the largest of all of these tree squirrels I have mentioned. The size seems to match very well.
A notable characteristic of the western version is that they have bigger ears than their eastern counterpart. Take a look at the ears on the squirrel in the first picture. Do they look a little large to you? Yeah, me too. Another characteristic of the western grays is their tails. Their tails are notable for the prominent light gray fringe around the edges. The first two pictures show this very well.
Western Gray Squirrels are listed as a threatened species. They are also not supposed to exist anywhere east of the western United States as far as I know. Maybe I'm mistaken about this squirrel in my picture. I guess I must be, but it fits too well for me to completely dismiss the idea.
Maybe somebody brought it here. I don't know of any other way it could have gotten here. I'd like to add that the Eastern Grays share much of the same coloring as this one. They also have a similar tail fringe, but the fringe and the tail are neither one as prominent as that of the Western Grays.
Whatever the answer to all of this becomes, it's still a mystery to me. If any of you think you might have the answer, please let me know. This is very strange.
One last thing. This is unrelated to the story above. I brought these old pictures back for another reason also. I didn't want to talk quite yet about something disturbing that I recently saw. I feel I have to tell the story, but it will be on a subject that is horrific in nature. I don't even want to tell it, but I think it is necessary. I will post a warning at the top when the time comes.