Well, I can check another item off of my life wish list. I got to touch a flying squirrel! I have had a fascination (bordering on obsession) with flying squirrels for a few years since I first saw them in my back yard. A family of four moved into this very expensive carved bird house. On closer inspection, they had chewed the nostril to enlarge the entrance, but I didn't care because I had never seen such beautiful little creatures. We learned to time it so we would stand by the tree when the squirrels left the house for their night of hunting and gathering food. They seemed not to mind our presence at all. They were hard to keep an eye on though because they are FAST.
Sadly, they abandoned this nest after the gray squirrels sniffed out their food stash. I feel partly to blame because I had put out so many nuts for the flyers. This spring we hung a "flying squirrel condo" - it's amazing what you can find on ebay! A few weeks ago we found that flyers had moved in!
On Saturday my favorite bird store had a presentation by a fellow who owns several flying squirrels. Just look at that face! I had read that flying squirrel fur is very soft. This little guy's fur felt like warm silk.
Here you can see the stretchy flap of skin (patagium) that allows the squirrel to glide from place to place. You don't need to go to Fostbite Falls, Minnesota to find flying squirrels. I found them in my back yard.