A Squirrel’s Eye View

Fox Squirrel in Ann Arbor University of Michigan

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on a Quiet Day by Corey Seeman

Corey is one of my favorite members of the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr, which is the place where most of the photos on Michigan in Pictures come from. For over a decade, Corey has been telling stories through his photographs of the squirrels on the University of Michigan campus. For his latest entry he writes about a subject close to all of us:

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on a Quiet Day – March 19th, 2020

So much to unpack here. With COVID-19 essentially shutting down campuses all across America and the world, there are few normal days to be had. I have been going into the office a few times just to make sure that things are still standing. Most of my work is at home.

But the one part of my life that is sadly missing at home are the squirrels. I normally use it as a social exercise – handing out peanuts to strangers so they can feed the squirrels. That part is gone in the world of social distancing. I keep at least enough room for the Holy Spirit to drive a car between me and anyone I am with.

On my recent day in the office (Thursday March 19th, 2020), I walked around just a bit. On the sad side, I saw a squirrel on the Diag who was either sick, fallen, or had been attacked, struggling to drink water and eat. I did see one – who might have been a momma – living inside Michele Oka Doner’s 2009 bronze casted statue “Angry Neptune, Salacia and Strider.” She seems to have an infected eye – I hope it gets better. I wish the squirrels at my home were nearly this friendly. But in the grand scheme of things – there is so much more to wish for.

Be safe everyone – we will get through this. Sending love and virtual hugs from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Pictures from the University of Michigan on Thursday March 19th, 2020.

Be safe indeed, and love & virtual hugs to you all! Check out Corey’s University of Michigan (2020-) set on Flickr and if you need even more squirrels, Michigan in Pictures has you covered!

What’s up everyone?

Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan (July 31st, 2017), photo by Corey Seeman

Apologies for the spotty posting over the last week. I’ve been pretty busy on a project.

Corey took this photo yesterday on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor when he was testing out his new Tamron 18mm-400mm lens, which he totally loves. View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Corey’s Project 365: Year 10 slideshow. (spoiler alert – there’s a lot of squirrels in it!)

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Mission: Possible

Will do ANYTHING for corn, photo by Julie A Christiansen

Dare to dream!

View Julie’s photo bigger on Facebook and see more including what looks to be a shot of the landing in her Wildlife slideshow.

Must be a Monday

Fox Squirrel Falls in the River

FOX SQUIRREL, photo by John E Heintz Jr

“If one place is as good as any other, it’s high time we decided. Otherwise when we get there, we won’t know we’ve arrived.”
~Dr. Doolittle

I swear that John Heintz is a direct descendent of Dr. Doolittle – gets the best nature photos! View his photo bigger and definitely watch his slideshow for the whole story.

More from the animal kingdom and more funny photos on Michigan in Pictures.

January 21st is National Squirrel Appreciation Day

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Fox Squirrel, Eastern Fox Squirrel, photo by AndrewH324

Jonathan Schechter of Earth’s Almanac marks Squirrel Appreciation Day, saying:

Squirrel Appreciation Day is here; like them or not. January 21st is the day to look at America’s favorite rodent as something other than pancake-flat road kill, a clever feeder-robber or free entertainment for a frustrated window watching cat. Take time today to appreciate their adaptability and ability to not just survive but thrive in our midst. This slightly nutty ‘holiday’ is saluted by the National Wildlife Federation and was founded in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina. Despite the fact that many fail to look both ways before crossing a highway even squirrel haters should salute these creatures that bury nuts; helping to spread trees to areas where the nut did not fall.

In Oakland County the squirrels seen in winter are the evergreen tree loving red squirrels, the rusty orange colored fox squirrel and the gray squirrel, a squirrel of the great American hardwood forests that is sometimes jet black. We are also home to the northern flying squirrel; a nocturnal creature that is more common than many realize! Chipmunks are seldom seen in winter and our 13 lined ground squirrel are under ground snoozing until spring thaw.

Andrew took this photo at the University of Michigan. Due to the high degree of squirrel activity on campus, there’s a Squirrel Club at UM. View Andrew’s photo background bigtacular and see more of this little guy in his Squirrel slideshow.

More squirrels on Michigan in Pictures.

Buried by the Polar Vortex in Michigan

Squirrels and other pictures at the University of Michigan on an awful cold wintry day (January 6, 2014)

Squirrels and other pictures at the University of Michigan on an awful cold wintry day (January 6, 2014), photo by cseeman

If yesterday’s Michigan temps seemed chilly, today’s are worse! Ironwood is still the coldest, but they are up a few degrees at -20 (before the -33 windchill of course). Most of the rest of the state is joining them below zero this morning. Detroit and Lansing are at -11, Marquette is at -15 and Grand Rapids is at a balmy 1.6 degrees!

Dr. Jeff Masters blog on the Extreme Cold Blast at Weather Underground, the site he founded and runs in Michigan says:

The most extreme cold air outbreak since 1994 is in store for much of the U.S. on Monday and Tuesday, as Arctic air behind a major winter storm invades the Midwest. The powerful 989 mb storm blasted the Upper Midwest on Sunday, bringing snows in excess of a foot over portions of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. The 11.4″ that fell on Sunday in Indianapolis, Indiana made it that city’s second snowiest day on record (the all-time record: 12.1″ on March 19, 1906); Flint, Michigan also recorded its second snowiest day on record: 14.5″ (the all time record: 15.0″ on November 28, 1937.) … The high temperature in Detroit on Tuesday is expected to remain below zero; the city’s list of days with a high temperature below zero is a short one, with only three such days in recorded history. The frigid air is being propelled by strong Arctic winds of 15 – 25 mph, which will generate dangerously low wind chill readings in the -30° to -60°F range from Michigan to Minnesota on Monday and Tuesday.

In the winter, the 24-hour darkness over the snow and ice-covered polar regions allows a huge dome of cold air to form. This cold air increases the difference in temperature between the pole and the Equator, and leads to an intensification of the strong upper-level winds of the jet stream. The strong jet stream winds act to isolate the polar regions from intrusions of warmer air, creating a “polar vortex” of frigid counter-clockwise swirling air over the Arctic. The chaotic flow of the air in the polar vortex sometimes allows a large dip (a sharp trough of low pressure) to form in the jet stream over North America, allowing the Arctic air that had been steadily cooling in the northern reaches of Canada in areas with 24-hour darkness to spill southwards deep into the United States. In theory, the 1.5°F increase in global surface temperatures that Earth has experienced since 1880 due to global warming should reduce the frequency of 1-in-20 year extreme cold weather events like the current one. However, it is possible that climate change could alter jet stream circulation patterns in a way that could increase the incidence of unusual jet stream “kinks” that allow cold air to spill southwards over the Eastern U.S., a topic I have blogged about extensively, and plan to say more about later this week.

Read on for more and to see a shot of Jeff shoveling 14″ off his metro Detroit roof!

Corey took this shot on the campus of the University of Michigan. View it background big and see more in his massive Squirrels of the Univ. of Michigan slideshow.

PS: Curiously enough, there’s a Campus Squirrels photo group on Flickr.

Sizzle

Sizzle

Sizzle, photo by corinne.schwarz

I think this squirrel accurately reflects the feelings of many of us following a week of sauna-like conditions. The squirrel is heat dumping, shedding maximum heat by flattening its body. You can see some more examples of this in the hilarious Squirrel Pancakes photo group.

Check this out background big and see more (including a couple more shots of this squirrel or a relative) in Corinne’s slideshow.