The other day Judy and I were on our way to town when a big fox squirrel crossed the highway in front of us. We were both excited since we haven’t seen one for a while. After we moved here over 19 years ago, we felt fortunate to live near one of the small populations of fox squirrels that are left.
It was unusual not to see at least one out on the ground under the big pecan trees around the house at any one time. More often than not there were three, one of which was solid black. My bird dog, Peaches, loved to play with them. When she approached they would climb about four feet up a tree and circle it while she tried to keep them in sight. It kind of reminded me of the monkey and weasel song.
Then, in the spring of 1998 a five year drought started and the local streams and ponds went dry. The squirrels left in search of better habitat with available water. They’ve yet to return. And, the harvesting of larger pine trees seems to have negatively impacted their population..
Frank NeSmith, Columnist
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