Sciurus Striatus: The Ground Squirrel.
This is about half the Size of an English Squirrel, and
almost of the same Colour, except that a Pair of black Lifts, with
a yellowish white Lift between them, extend almost the Length of
the Body on both Sides; also a single black Lift runs along the
Ridge of the Back. The Eyes are black and large, the Ears rounding,
the Tail long, flat, and thick set with Hairs, which are much shorter
than those of other Squirrels. These Squirrels abide in the Woods
of Carolina, Virginia, &c. Their Food is Nuts, Acorns, and
such like as other Squirrels feed on. They being brought up tame,
are very familiar and active.
The Fruit which the Squirrel is feeding on, belongs to a Tree or
Shrub which General Oglethorp brought from Georgia
by the Name of the Wild Nutmeg; from its being aromatic, and other
Circumstances, induces me to think it is the Fruit of the Plant
I have described, p. 46. Vol. I. which Description is imperfect,
because the Fruit was not then formed: The Size and Form of this
is as 'tis here represented. It divides into four Openings, discovering
four dark green Seeds within the Fruit.
Cornus, foliis Laurinis, fructu majore luteo: The Mastic Tree.
This Tree grows usually to the Height of about fifty Feet, with
a Trunc two or three Foot thick, having a greenish white smooth
Bark. The Leaves hang promiscuously on long Footstalks, and are
in Form somewhat like those of a Pear Tree, from the Sides of the
branches grow small pentapetalous yellow Flowers, which are succeeded
by yellow oval Fruit, in Size and Shape of small Plums, inclosing
an oval brown Stone. The Fruit is eat, and is sweet and luscious,
but serves chiefly for the Sustenance of Birds and other Animals.
The Wood is esteemed good Timber; they grow in Abbaco and
other of the Bahama Islands.