Apparently this Wyoming ground squirrel was getting a snack and a show. 😉 While photographing a big moose bull recently, I couldn’t help but have my attention drawn to this little one scampering about in the valley grass. It provided an amusing secondary photo op, most notably here when it kept watching me while comping on some grass.
When camping in southwestern Colorado last week, these little guys were a constant presence providing for fun watching. In one of the captures you can see one calling. They make a rather shrill sound, almost more like you would expect from a bird, and it was, honestly, a bit annoying at times. Haha!
One of six species of ground squirrels here in Colorado, Wyoming ground squirrels are oftentimes mistaken for prairie dogs as they do look similar although they are smaller. In fact, they have earned the nickname of “high mountain prairie dogs” and are found at altitudes above 5,000 feet.
They are not always welcome as once established, they can take over ranchland, providing undesired competition for foraging livestock and have been known to chase out populations of golden-mantled squirrels. Wyoming ground squirrels do provide a good food source though for foxes, coyotes, badgers and birds of prey.
I’m not sure what this little guy was watching but it sure was focused on whatever it was. Sitting at the campsite recently, I spotted it sitting up on a tree stump and intently watching something in the distance. It sat there for a good five minutes, hardly making a move.
In hindsight, I do wonder if perhaps the fox that visited us the following evening wasn’t in the area and this guy was keeping an eye on it. Just kind of cute pose by one of the forest’s smaller creatures.
By far the cutest capture I took this past weekend! It is hard to top baby mountain goats and pikas but somehow this little one stole the show.
A photo friend and I ventured into an area about half way up Mount Evans that I historically have had good luck finding pika. As we set off, this golden mantled ground squirrel hopped on top of a rock along the path and watched us.
It seemed quite curious about us and, best of all, gave us some fantastic poses, including this one. Lots to like about this shot with the perfect pose that shows a lot of personality to the nice rock it is on and the smooth, distant background.
One of the small creatures from our visit to Grand Teton National Park.
While staying in the Gros Ventre Campground, these guys were pretty regular visitors and provided some entertainment as they went about scavenging for food.
The Uinta ground squirrel has a somewhat small range in western Wyoming, southwestern Montana, eastern Idaho and northern Utah. Most notable about them is their lengthy hibernation. They will head to their burrows as early as mid-July and not emerge until mid-March. That makes for a pretty long winter’s nap!
In the wake of last weekend’s blizzard, we still have a good bit of snow in the backyard. The birds have been constant visitors to the feeders and the squirrels come by to grab what they drop.
This cute lady was hanging out one afternoon this week, picking up the sunflower seeds and peanuts off the ground. The squirrels’ visits are usually pretty fleeting as our dogs are less than thrilled when they are around and calamity ensues once they are let out. 😉
The neighborhood squirrels can’t get directly to the bird feeder that has the peanuts but, lucky for them, plenty fall to the ground. This one wasn’t shy about eating its stolen meal right in front of me. 😉
It’s not trespassing if you don’t touch the ground, right? 😉
The neighborhood fox squirrels oftentimes come by, looking for leftovers that have fallen below our bird feeders. They are quite cautious though as they know if my dogs see them, they need to be prepared to run.
This squirrel yesterday was quite wary as it lowered itself down from the fence, slowly working closer to a potential jackpot. Lucky for it, Scout and Ellie happened to be inside at the time.
The saying is, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.” This little guy was almost certainly not blind and it knew exactly where to dig to find that nut.
My wife and I were sitting at our campsite one evening last weekend. This squirrel hopped over to a spot under a nearby tree and began digging. Soon it had worked its way down a couple of inches below the top of the ground cover and then popped up with what looks like an acorn.
Pretty funny to watch and impressive how it seemed to know exactly where it had hidden the nut to begin with. Heck, if I put down my glasses I can’t remember where I put them 5 minutes ago. 😉
On this photo outing last week, I found myself switching from one of the biggest creatures in the forest to one of the smallest.
The moose were grazing nearby and I was happily photographing them when motion from this golden mantled squirrel got my attention.
It was busy scurrying about, looking for a meal, when it found this flowery bush. I have no idea what kind of flower / bush that is but the pods on it were apparently to the squirrel’s liking as it proceeded to really pig out on them.
Here it is seen pulling a branch down so it can grab one.