One of the greatest joys of being back on campus so far has been seeing all sorts of different critters while on my daily Crum Woods walks. From smaller fellas like squirrels to larger animals like dogs, I deeply enjoy encountering all of the wildlife that Swarthmore has to offer. If you ever feel stressed I highly suggest going out for a bit and just taking in all of the animals you can!
I know that every college claims to have the best squirrels on campus but I truly believe that Swat has some of the greatest squirrels around. These li’l guys are very easy to spot and accessible pretty much wherever you go on campus. After three years at Swarthmore, I like to believe that I’ve become a pretty great squirrel photographer. You have to be sneaky enough to not scare them but bold enough that they respect you. Over the years my squirrel pictures have become less and less blurry which I think is quite the achievement. I just love these lil rodents and I especially appreciate how chunky they are.
Now, this may be a controversial one, but I stand by it under certain conditions. I like geese the farther away they are from me. When I’m walking down to Sharples for dinner and I see a whole gaggle of geese flying above me and honking to their hearts’ delight, I feel at ease. However, if I’m on a walk in the woods and I see even one goose near me I will freak out and run away as fast as possible. I know they don’t actually have teeth on their tongues and it’s actually just cartilage, but it’s still horrifying. However, I do deeply appreciate a good honk from far away and I like to take pictures of them from a safe distance.
These are higher up on the list than geese because they’re not as aggressive and just overall cuter in my opinion. One of my favorite Swat memories is going into the Crum Woods in early April and seeing a family of ducks swimming in the nearby river. The mom led the way and all of her chicks swam behind her. I took as many pictures as I could before they got out of my sight. I named the mom Berthina. I haven’t seen her in a while but I hope she’s doing well. Going duck spotting while on a walk in the Crum Woods is one of Swarthmore’s many simple pleasures.
I LOVE seeing a good doggo on my way to class. Whenever you’re feeling tired or burnt out, seeing (1) fluffy dog on your way to Sharples makes your day 1000x better. During my time at Swat, I’ve seen MANY various different kinds of dogs on campus. From small and stout to big and fluffy, there have been many beautiful good pups on campus. Always be sure and ask the owner if you can pet their dog before doing so! I also ask if I can take a picture of their dog because as you can tell, I love taking pictures of animals.
1. Mysterious Cat
This is not just any ol’ cat on campus (which I do still thoroughly enjoy) but one specific black cat I’ve had the pleasure of seeing on campus at odd hours in the night. Back in sophomore year when I lived in Roberts, I would walk back home through the tunnel under the train tracks. One night I saw a pair of yellow glowing eyes in the dark and that’s when I saw this beautiful mysterious cat. I took a picture that made the cat look like a cryptid and it ran away. After long hours in LPAC (the Lang Performing Arts Center), I would always walk home the same way and often catch a quick glimpse of this mysterious cat. I haven’t gone home that way in a while since I currently live in Wharton but I hope to run into this funky cat again one day as they bring me great joy.
There are many wonderful critters all around campus that you can go out and see! If you need a quick stress reliever I hope you take this list as a guideline and go out and add your own favorite animals to this list!