I woke up on Wednesday to find my Twitter feed overrun by posts about Squirrel Appreciation Day. Most of my Twitter follows are related to U of M/Ann Arbor, the Nationals, and bread, so at first glance it may seem strange that these posts were everywhere. But for those unaware the squirrels on U of M’s have quite the reputation, and the U of M twitterverse (twittersphere?) was giving our great campus squirrels their proper recognition. They are exceptionally friendly, inquisitive, confident, and as a result very well fed. Among Michigan’s 1,375 student organizations is a Squirrel Club. If you really need a squirrel fix, check out the 11,000 pictures one staff member has taken.
If you come for a visit to campus it is pretty hard to miss them and once you leave you’ll realize just how small others are in comparison. When I used to give tours I would describe the squirrels on campus as domesticated. With over 40,000 students running around they have adjusted well to a large human presence and it is just as likely that squirrels will get out of your way as you have to get out of theirs. Two years ago (and you’ll just have to take my word for it), I saw a squirrel use a crosswalk at the corner of State and William, which is pictured above. In the fall you’ll see squirrels packing away for the winter and perhaps enjoying a special treat of a squirrel sized loaf of buckwheat apple cider sourdough (Photo courtesy of UM Social Media).