Over Memorial Day weekend, Beth and I went on a hike through the Black River Wildlife Management area in search of Pink Lady's Slipper orchids, which we found and are really cool. We also found another natural treasure while we were there.
I was walking past a tree when a small creature ran up the side and around the back of the tree. Normally, I would've dismissed it as a chipmunk, but something just didn't seem right. I quickly moved around the back of the tree and the critter scurried even higher up in the tree. I thought that it might have been a flying squirrel due to its color and size, but I had never seen one in person. I called Beth over from her "wildflower watching" and we both looked for the squirrel. It appeared that the squirrel had completely disappeared! We looked carefully around the tree and could not relocate the squirrel. I had about given up when I noticed a funny looking broken branch stump on the tree. I lifted my binoculars and there it was! I said, "Hey Beth, see that stump up there. That's a flying squirrel!" Seeing that these creatures are mainly nocturnal, I think we were pretty lucky to see one! Although I've heard of people that have them nesting on their property, I haven't been so lucky. Here's a picture of the little guy/gal. It was pretty far away.
You can't see me!
I'm not sure if it was a Northern Flying Squirrel or a Southern Flying Squirrel because I believe that their ranges overlap in NJ. Either way, it was really cool to see one.