HARVIN COLUMN: Readers say white squirrels are everywhere
I’ve learned one thing this week: Readers care about white squirrels. After I wrote about seeing one in Riverland Terrace, I wondered where others could be found.
Two neighbors wrote to confirm that there is indeed a pair of white squirrels in my neighborhood, but so many wrote in to say that they, too, were astonished to see the white squirrels and sent photos.
Here are some of your responses with the locations:
“We started seeing white squirrels in Crowfield Plantation in Goose Creek in January 2012. We never saw more than three at one time, although I was able to get a picture of only two at once.
“Also, in Goose Creek, our daughter spotted one off of Central Avenue, and a lady I spoke to said she had seen one along St. James Avenue near Foxboro. A couple I spoke to said they had seen white squirrels in Moncks Corner.”
— Denise Chastain
“My husband and I have lived on Johns Island since 1973. We had a small farm just off Chisolm Road till 1995.
“White squirrels were not seen on our farm till after Hurricane Hugo. Then a group of them moved into the area along the river behind our house. We really enjoyed them and put out food, corn and seed. They were about the same size as the gray squirrels in the area, but they were not as aggressive as the gray squirrels. The gray squirrels chased the white squirrels from the feeder, so I put several food areas out.”
— Linda Matthews
“White one spotted on Daniel Island, along the Daniel Island Trail connecting Barfield with River Landing Drive. Spotting was in the pine trees on the north side of the long bridge on this section of the trail. The little one was spotted by me twice last September-October, but not again. Your column explained why I did not see pink eyes.”
— Butch Phillippi
“I live near Hollywood in the Hamlet subdivision and have been seeing a white squirrel in our front yard for about a year. We have seen them in the neighborhood in the past, but I’ve never had one hang out in my yard. I think he lives in one of our oak trees.”
— Joy Hume
“Nearly every Sunday as we head home from Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Johns Island, we make a little detour and ride by the Angel Oak. About four months ago, as we slowly drove down the dirt lane pass the great tree, I spotted a white squirrel on the opposite side of the road. My husband stopped the car, and we sat and watched the squirrel for several minutes before it scampered out of sight. It was definitely not albino.”
— Teresa Crump
“My friend, Ruth McIver saw a white squirrel near the Presbyterian church on Johns Island. We quilted together, and she made a quilt and put a white squirrel in it. It was quite a surprise.”
— Mary Alma Parker, Avondale
“They are so common on the Isle of Palms that it’s easy to spot one. There’s a colony in the Forest Trail area. That area doesn’t get as much traffic, so that’s probably why they are there.”
— Robie Robinson
“I live in Yemassee and see him every morning. He’s a solid white, and he stands out in his patch of woods.”
— Garey Gibbs
So many people responded that I can’t put them all here. But one last story was very touching.
From Ann Ducker: Her father, R.W. Cook, bred and kept white squirrels on Johns Island for many years until his cages were destroyed in Hurricane Hugo and the squirrels were set free. Video from that time shows the squirrels running on wheels, climbing ropes and chasing each other. He became quite famous for a time, even bringing white squirrels to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
While he’s now passed on, the care and concern he had for the white squirrels lives on. Ducker shared this video of the squirrels playing.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at email@example.com or 937-5557.