Whoa, what's that!?!

I purposely take the backroads on my drive to-and-from work everyday. Most days it is just a boring drive, but you never know. I always keep my camera next to me in the truck just in case a wildlife photography moment happens to materialize.

Fox Squirrel
© Photographer: William Wise | iNat Observation: 17866848 - Fox Squirrel; Oconee County, Georgia. May 12, 2017.

When driving just about anywhere in the eastern United States, it never fails that a squirrel will cross your path (and many don’t always make it across the road). But seeing those brown Eastern Gray and Fox Squirrels all the time, it isn’t worth pulling over for a photo. But on this particular pass through Watkinsville, Georgia, a black squirrel caught my eye. I don’t see that too often!

According to sources, there are three color phases of the Fox Squirrel. In most areas they are the usual brownish-red color, while in eastern regions such as the Appalachians there are darker brown and black squirrels with white bands on the face and tail. In some areas of the south there are communities with uniform black coats.

On my last encounter with a black Fox Squirrel on a drive home, I wasn’t quite ready with my camera and only managed some blurry shots. But this guy was different. He was standing on his rear legs under an oak tree on the right-hand side of the road as I passed by. Wanting a better shot, I turned the truck around and headed back. Upon returning, he had crossed the road into the front yard of a nice, rustic, country home.

Surprisingly, he didn’t take off when I pulled into the gravel driveway. I fired a few shots from the open truck window. I didn’t want to push my luck, but I put it in park and opened my door. Still, he didn’t take off! He stood posed with an acorn in his mouth! This guy was so compliant I was even able to use two lenses! He watched and waited while I switched to my 300mm lens. I really didn’t want to miss documenting this encounter! It pays to be ready!

Watkinsville, Oconee County, Georgia

  • Forecast: Sunny with a 30% chance of thunderstorms; high near 84°
  • Sunrise 6:43 AM; Sunset 8:26 PM
  • Day length: 13 hours, 51 minutes
  • Moon: 97% waning gibbous
Posted by williamwisephoto williamwisephoto, May 12, 2022 02:53 PM


Photos / Sounds


Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)




May 12, 2017 04:10 PM EDT


. See birding and nature photography journals at www.williamwisephoto.com.


Very nice! My partner still hasn't adjusted to my sudden and unexpected pull-overs as my right arm flails around toward the back seat for the Canon. ("OMG, you scared me" "Sorry, honey, that caracara is practically posing for this photo...")

Posted by joe_cripe about 2 months ago (Flag)

@joe_cripe Ha ha! After 20 years of marriage, my wife is finally getting a bit used to it (but still thinks I'm crazy).

Posted by williamwisephoto about 2 months ago (Flag)

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