Friday, May 4, 2012

A timid, yet persistent new friend

 Joel and I took a much needed break out to Kananaskis, two hours west of us.   Along a walk in a mountain valley, I encountered a pair of Columbia Ground Squirrels.  While one scampered off, another let me take photographs.  At first the rodent dove down into one of her holes, but after a while she'd get curious and come back out.  I just had my wide angle lens so I knew I had to get relatively close to capture a photo yet try not to  cause her too much anxiety.  I'm saying she but I have no idea whether this was the male or female.  Either way, a very curious friend.  I'd snap a few photos and then she'd head down into the hole.  If I waited a bit, she'd pop her head out again to see what I was doing.  So each time she went back into her hole, I'd take two or three steps   closer.  Then she'd pop out again and I'd snap some photos.  When I was at a further distance, she was willing to stand on two hind legs to watch me.  As I got closer, she remained on all four legs; I think to ensure she'd have a quicker get away if need be. 
   When I got home, I had to research exactly what kind of animal this was.  She looks so much like a gopher and yet the gopher is more sandy brown to blend into the prairies.  She has a distinct red nose.  I learned there are a variety of different ground squirrels.  But this is a Columbia one, distinct to the Rocky Mountains.
     This  little one was fairly obliging and tolerant so I did thank her as I left her backyard!
    Looking forward to more hikes this summer as maybe we'll encounter this friend again.

1 comment:

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

What beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had a great day!