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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rocky, the flying squirrel

Talk about your Mexican stand-off.

Last Saturday around 8 a.m. I witnessed two regular visitors to my (yes) squirrel feeder that is located on a pine tree next to the front porch.

The first was Rocky, the flying squirrel.

For the past several years the feeder's been frequented by southern flying squirrels, and every now and then, two at a time.

However, they have tended to show up after dark, even past midnight.

Not the current Rocky who's arrived just after sundown or at sunrise to partake of the stripped and black oil sunflower seeds that I place out each evening.

On Saturday the little guy was way past his typical visiting hours.

Then along came one of the early morning fox squirrels, which appeared stunned at Rocky being there.

For his part, Rocky stood his ground, rising on his haunches, lifting his forearms and then spreading the loose skin that the critter uses to glide.

Rocky looked twice as large as normal and pretty nasty for a few-ounce squirrel.

The fox squirrel hesitated for only a moment before crowding into the feeder's small chamber, pushing Rocky to its rear.

That made Rocky squirm to the front and out the feeder in a dash, startling the fox squirrel in the process.

The whole thing couldn't have lasted more than a few minutes but I'll remember it always as one of those things we humans seldom have the opportunity to see.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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