It's not strange to see squirrels running around Sioux Falls. You can see them in neighborhoods all over town tempting death by indecisively running back and forth in the middle of streets.

But you don't see a black squirrel every day. I have seen one a lot recently.

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Andy Erickson/Hot 104.7
Andy Erickson/Hot 104.7

Black squirrels are not as rare as moose are in South Dakota, but they aren't exactly common either. I've seen them in my neighborhood in the southeastern part of Sioux Falls, and also randomly in other parts of town.

Over the last month or so I have seen one hanging out near our radio studios near Louise and I-229 in Sioux Falls. Today it was climbing the tree right outside my office.

The most common squirrel in South Dakota

The most common squirrel in South Dakota is the eastern fox squirrel, according to the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. They are found everywhere except in the northwestern corner of the state.

What's the deal with the black squirrels then? The short version is that they are most likely the same as all the other squirrels in town except they are black. Of course, there is quite a bit more detail to that.

According to a study done in the United Kingdom, black squirrels are a fox squirrel that has a gene that mutates and turns the fur black instead of the reddish-brown color we are used to. The gene has spread to eastern gray squirrels as well, which are found in states east of South Dakota.

It turns out that the black fur gene has an advantage. Dark colors absorb heat from the sun better than lighter colors and helps them to survive super cold winters. It is thought that the evolutionary trait is sticking around because of that.

MORE: How To Eliminate Squirrels From Your Bird Feeder In South Dakota

7 Most Common Snakes in South Dakota

South Dakota may not have creepy crawlies like they do in Australia. But, there are a fair amount of snakes to be found here.
A few can be found in the Black Hills, some enjoy life on the west-river plains and several are concentrated in the southeastern part of the state along the Missouri River.

There are seven common species of snake that can be found throughout the state, including our one venomous species.

Inside Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

I had been to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store once before, but they did some pretty cool things since the last time I was there. They added a bunch of superheroes, Star Wars stuff, and a candy band.

According to their Facebook page, Jim's Apple Farm is actually how the now huge candy store got its start. It is located in Jordan, MN and you can't miss it. It is a huge yellow building.

Even though candy is mentioned in the name, they have a little bit of everything. They have fresh baked pies and cookies and fudge. We walked in and it smelled amazing!

They also have the largest selection of sodas! Then there is chocolate and taffy and gummies and chips and puzzles and games. So much stuff!

They even have a Zoltar machine like in the movie, Big. I had to check that out. He told me the only helping hand is at the end of my arm. Gee, thanks Zoltar.

There were even crickets and worms! Not gummy worms, but actual worms.
They also have candy from all over the world!

The store is seasonal, however. November is their last month of operation for the season.

9 Driving Laws in South Dakota that Might Surprise You, Some You Didn't Know Existed

There are some things you can do on South Dakota roads that you may have once thought illegal but aren't. Like, can you ride in the back of a pickup, or drive barefoot in South Dakota?

While perusing the South Dakota Department of Public Safety I was reminded of some things that come up in conversation quite often.

Here are a few to ponder:

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