Archive for the ‘Ground Squirrel’ Tag

An Animal’s Eyes   3 comments

Ground Squirrel_20110309_1762 blogGround Squirrel — Image by kenne

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”

— Martin Buber

Go Back To The Future Rather Than Forward To The Past   Leave a comment

Ground Squirrel_20110309_1761 blogGround Squirrel — Image by kenne

“At some point,

perhaps within my lifetime,

the American West

will go back to the future

rather than forward to the past.” 

— from Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner


More On Round-tailed Ground Squirrels   2 comments

Aspen Draw August 2013

The round-tailed ground squirrel is very sociable desert animals, living in small colonies. They breed shortly after coming out of hibernation early spring . These squirrels often stand on their hind legs trying to get a better view as they watch for  predators. Because they’re very dependent on succulent vegetation for moisture, these squirrels estivate for a few weeks during the summer drought, until the summer rainy season again brings new growth.

Aspen Draw August 2013Round-tailed ground squirrel — Images by kenne

A Patio Friend — Well, Maybe   6 comments

Our patio is enclosed by a wall with several opening along the ground-line for drainage. To keep the critters out, the openings are covered with a wire mesh. round-tailed ground squirrelBecause the patio is enclosed, it’s great for our cat, Kika, especially since she is not a “jumper.” She loves being outside with us, but each time on the patio, she walks the parameter obviously picking up a scent. Sometimes she spends time staring at one of the drainage holes. We knew we were sharing our patio with some kind of critter. Occasionally, I would see something moving quickly out of the side of my eye. Since pack rats are common in the desert, I figured we were being visited by a pack rat.

round-tailed ground squirrelThen one day I saw the rear of something going into the corner hole and disappearing. Since the wire mesh blocked exit from the hole, I figured it went up inside the concrete block wall. So, I placed bricks in front of the hole and removed the wire mesh so the critter could exit the patio only. The next day I noticed that something had dug under the bricks. I also noticed similar diggings around the sago palm planter.

round-tailed ground squirrelI continued to think the critter living on the patio was a pack rat, that is until yesterday when we saw something moving under the patio table. Taking a closer look, I could see the animal was a round-tail ground squirrel.

round-tailed ground squirrelWhile getting my camera, the squirrel scampered over to one of the wall holes. When I got too close, the squirrel would go up into the wall, so I backed off and waited.

round-tailed ground squirrelAfter awhile the squirrel reappear from inside the block wall, surveying the area. I could tell she was trying to get to was a more comfortable place.

round-tailed ground squirrelShe moved under one of the patio planters, looked around and began running to the corner wall hole.

round-tailed ground squirrelWhere was Kika? In the house sleeping. — Images by kenne

Capturing The Moment — “Here’s Looking You Desert” Ground Squirrel   Leave a comment

Desert Ground Squirrel — Images by kenne

There are a number of playful desert ground squirrels around the Sabino Canyon Center.


Capturing The Moment — Sabino Canyon Beggar   1 comment

Ground Squirrel — Image by kenne

Most of the time it’s not easy to photograph these little ground squirrels, since they move quickly behind desert ground cover. However, on this day when some of the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists were walking back from conducting the “Web of Life” program with 60 3rd graders, this guy was spotted behind a prickly pear cactus near the path. We stopped, not realizing that this must have been a signal for him to come out and greet us. When I reached into my pocket for my point & shot camera, he stood up. This response led us to conclude he thought I was reaching for food, which means this behavior was being reinforced by visitors to the canyon. Not wanting to reinforce the behavior, we moved on.

A short distance on down the trail, we made the mistake of looking back, to see he was still standing there.

“How could we keep going without giving him something?”

But, we didn’t have anything to give him, that is until one of us checked the many pockets in our naturalist vests and found the mesquite bean pod we use when working with the elementary-school kids. So, we walked back and gave him a pod.

Okay, we know this was not good naturalist behavior, but . . .


Ground Squirrel with Mesquite pod. — Image by kenne

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