Stacey Cole's Nature Talks: An NH retiree reports from Florida on turkey vultures
January 10. 2014 8:49PM
Thanks, Don. I hope you continue to observe the wild things in your retirement. Best wishes!
It has been some time since we received a letter telling about a black chipmunk. In mid-December the following letter written by a Landaff couple, read: "We thought you would like to see our black chipmunk we call (what else?) 'Blackie.' (Included was a family Christmas card featuring "Blackie" eating bird seed while stretched out full length on a downed log. The color photo of the all-black animal in its natural background was featured on the card, with a contrasting red border. It was excellent!
"We also had two silver foxes come into our yard to eat bread we threw out. Lucky they left the chipmunks alone.
"Thank you for all the enjoyment and information we've received from your column over the years. Please don't retire!" (I'll comment on that subject later.)
According to the book "Animals of America," edited by H. E. Anthony, (at that time Curator of Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History): "Occasionally one of the five sub-species of the eastern gray squirrel will have a black color phase or melanistic form in which the animal is black all over. It is not uncommon to see these black squirrels in the northeastern United States and Canada from Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania northward to 46-degree latitude and west to Minnesota and Iowa." In recent years so—called "black squirrels" have been reported more frequently in southern New Hampshire.
After we published our column telling about so-called "paper" wasp nests high in trees, a long-time Londonderry reader wrote, (including photos to illustrate), a letter that read: "It reminded me of a large nest I saw after the leaves had fallen from a very large maple. The nest was 50 feet or so above the ground and about 150 feet from our house near the highway. A strong wind dislodged it a few days ago. I retrieved it, that is, most of it. It really got soaked before I located it."
At age 92, one of these days I will retire. Many popular columns as selected by our readers, are now in the book: "Stacey Cole's New Hampshire: A Lyrical Landscape." The book is available at selected book stores and also on the Internet at www.nhbooksellers.com.
Stacey Cole's address is 529 W. Swanzey Road, Swanzey, 03446.