Tag Archives: squirrels

Black Squirrels: A Scientific Perspective

We’ve all seen them. We’ve all talked about them. We’ve even written about them. Wesleyan’s black squirrel population is a source of pride, fear, and gossip for the student body.  Despite their fame, we have never known the true origin story of the black squirrel. Until now. Just last year, a team of scientists from the UK and America published their study on the biological source behind this unique coloration. I’ve compiled all the important information below the cut, but I’ll give you a sneak peek here: it’s because these squirrels fuck.

Encounters with Wild Animals: The Initiation

Over my first few weeks at Wes I’ve had some pretty wild encounters with some captivating, deceiving creatures. How did I get myself into this? Well, it all started with a small, innocent baby rabbit staring at me with the most innocent gaze — “wow,” I said out loud, “Wes is wild” (*scares rabbit away*). Little did I know that the whole force of nature would prove to me that we are, in fact, not alone in this campus.

Over the next few days, I had encounters with tarantula-size spiders in my bed, a group of around 15 bees (not very happy with my presence), a very sketchy rat and a partially bald black squirrel. Oh, and, by the way, I was also chased by a skunk up to Olin.

I found some comfort, however, in knowing that I am not alone in this situation. For instance, out of nowhere, I heard somebody screaming down my hall, and when I arrived, the girl, whose name is to remain undisclosed, said: “You don’t understand! The moth came AT ME!” She then continued by describing the moth’s intentionality in “attacking” her.

Later that week I started to hear more stories from several people who had similar or worse experiences of this nature, like ending up in the hospital after a baby squirrel imprinted on them (don’t ask how). After hearing all those stories, I just feel better. I have no idea of what my next encounters with the wild are going to be like, but at least I know that animals are not conspiring against me, or, at least, not exclusively.

If you have any stories of encounters with wild animals at Wes, tell us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org or our tipbox!

Procrastination Destination: Cute Animals in a Livestream. What more could you ever want?

(kitab posted this pic bc it’s too cute not to share)

Today I learned that there is a website dedicated to streaming animal cuteness, and proceeded to lose 2 hours that should have been spent writing a paper.

You can choose to watch sloths, kittens, penguins and even cockroaches.

Proceed with caution, and only if you do not value your time.

My only qualm is that they have yet to dedicate one to squirrels. Although, attaching a GoPro to my head and following squirrels on campus might become a reality in my near future.


What’s the Deal with Black Squirrels?


The noble squirrel contemplates the unknown, eyes fixed on eternity

My friends often describe squirrels, to my great indignation, as “rats with prettier tails.” I will spare you my feelings on this—suffice it to say that, obviously, the trash-scavenging conditions of squirrels in urban areas has more to do with human encroachment on their habitat than any fault of their own (also, I really love rats)—but here in Middletown we have some squirrel variation that invites greater appreciation. Of course I’m referring here to the beautiful jet-black squirrels that frolic and scavenge about the Wesleyan campus.

Black squirrel spotted

Gorging on leftover hummus.  Aww!  So cute.


P.S. That still doesn’t mean you should leave your non-bio-degradable crap out on Foss Hill.  It’s so much prettier when it’s cleaner.

P.P.S.  But is the black squirrel hung?

The ultimate ethical meal: grey squirrel

“It’s low in fat, low in food miles and completely free range. In fact, some claim that Sciurus carolinensis – the grey squirrel – is about as ethical a dish as it is possible to serve on a dinner plate.

The grey squirrel, the American cousin of Britain’s endangered red variety, is flying off the shelves faster than hunters can shoot them, with game butchers struggling to keep up with demand. ‘We put it on the shelf and it sells. It can be a dozen squirrels a day – and they all go,’ said David Simpson, the director of Kingsley Village shopping centre in Fraddon, Cornwall, whose game counter began selling grey squirrel meat two months ago.

Simpson likens the taste to wild boar. Ridley thinks it is more a cross between duck and lamb. ‘It’s moist and sweet because, basically, its diet has been berries and nuts,’ he said.

Both believe its new-found popularity is partly due to its green credentials. ‘People like the fact it is wild meat, low in fat and local – so no food miles,’ says Simpson. Ridley reckons that patriotism also plays a part: ‘Eat a grey and save a red. That’s the message.’

‘People may say they are buying it because it’s green and environmentally friendly, but really they’re doing it out of curiosity and because of the novelty value. If they can say, “Darling, tonight we’re having squirrel”, then that takes care of the first 30 minutes of any dinner party conversation. I see it remaining a niche. There’s not much meat on a squirrel, so I’d be surprised if farming squirrel takes off anywhere some time soon.’ “

Full, suggestive article here

Do I smell senior week barbecue?

Edit: the disturbing fact that the “ultimate ethical meal” happens to involve killing lots and lots of innocent, fuzzy cutelings is not lost on me. DO NOT GO AND KILL THE SQUIRRELS. (I’m fairly sure you’d get some VDS commando team on your ass…)

While You Were Off Campus

•Squirrels ruled the land. No really, I can walk across campus twice and see nobody except squirrels. It’s kind of eerie, like a post apocalyptic movie.
•Middletown High played Xavier on Andrus field, complete with at least 1000 people and a sweet, hugely loud brass band. M-town won. Seriously, both sets of bleachers were full. It was epic.
•Weshop/Piggies remained about as helpful in balancing my nutrition as it normally is; it’s been closed since Tuesday, forcing me to seek other sources of protein. (a few more weeks of this and I might be forced to have a little squirrel barbecue.)
•Some really beautiful, balmy days have been bestowed on us by the Giver of All Good Gifts. (Incidentally, Middletown has a righteous christian radio station, WIHS @ 104.9 )
•The alcoholic-drink-of-choice transitioned from something iced to something spiced: Hot Cider with Cardamom and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. (More snow is necessary to complete this transition, but we’re in the grey area…)
•There were no sweet shows, at the cafe or at eclectic or at anywhere.
You didn’t miss much. Except the football game, which was epic. and some quiet.

Ze Squirrels, Zey are Hurting!

Freshmen, beware. Arm yourselves:

A ferocious squirrel went on the rampage in Germany this week, attacking three people before meeting its match in an angry 72-year-old.

Police in the southern town of Passau said the creature attacked a 70-year-old woman on Tuesday, sinking its teeth into her hand.

It next entered a building site and jumped on a construction worker, injuring his hand and arm before he fought it off with a pole.

A police spokesman said the squirrel then finally met its end – but it didn’t go down without a fight.

“The squirrel went into the 72-year-old man’s garden and attacked him on the arms, hand and thigh,” the spokesman said. “Then he killed it with his crutch.”

He explained that experts thought the creature’s behaviour could have been brought on by the mating season, or it could have been ill.