09 August 2011

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel Family

Back to Colorado for some more tales of the West. One of the highlights of my recent trip was staying at the cabin in Grand Lake, FL. Tara, Kate, Emily, and I spent our time watching hummingbirds on the front porch, taking in the scenery, and spending some quality time cooking dinners and having drinks. It was a perfect vacation.

My time was even more enhanced by another little family that shared our space.  On our first day at the cabin I saw this mother Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel.  Being unfamiliar with things like this I mistakenly called her a chipmunk. I digibinned a shot of her and noticed that she was nursing young.  

The next day she was out in the open again but this time she had her three young babies with her.  They were about half her size and readily came to her when she came around.  We watched them play together, eat seeds, and seek adventure down the driveway.

This little ground squirrel family brought many happy moments to my trip and I think of them fondly when thoughts of Colorado pop into my head.  I am glad I had the chance to watch some family behavior and share a few moments with them.

The panoramic below is the view that this ground squirrel family has each sunset.  I've never wanted to live that low on the food chain but I must say, it seems like they have a nice life.  Tomorrow I hope you come back to see my second lifer mammal of the trip.  Here's a hint: it's big, it's brown, and it has a bell.  Guess in the comments if you know what it is.

*Oddly enough, this was not my first run in with a Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel but it was my first time experiencing a whole family.  Watching a family interact is much more memorable than seeing a few beg for handouts on a busy trail.

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