Back in DC, I was used to the sight of black squirrels, which have more or less taken over the hilly parts of Northwest, especially Cleveland Park. There were many theories on how they got there, the most accepted is that they are descendants of Canadian squirrels who were resident at the National Zoo, and then moved into the surrounding neighborhoods… where evolution took over.
I was surprised here in my new San Jose neighborhood to find — yes — a black squirrel hanging around my backyard.
Turns out that Stanford University has its own black squirrel population, and even more theories about their existence. The urban myth here on my street is that they are the results of some genetic experiment at the University; another says that they were imported from Italy by Mrs. Stanford. The official story is that “black squirrels are common in the United States.”
Whatever the reason, they remind me of home as I sit here in the office. Luckily, I have no fireplace at this house, so I won’t be trying to shoo them out of the chimney like back in Arlington.
Update, 3:15pm: Here I sit, watching the black squirrel in my backyard… wait a minute… what’s he doing? He’s digging holes in my nicely mowed and edged lawn! Dammit, I don’t want any more squirrels in my backyard.