(Continuing from my previous post, “Just Another Day at the Ranch”)
I stood looking at the mother ground squirrel wondering what it was doing. As I watched I realized that my camera was in the truck about 50 feet away. Would I be able to grab it and return before the squirrel departed. So far it had stood quite still unable to determine what to do.
I walked to the truck and grabbed the camera. When I returned to the squirrel, it had not moved. Apparently it couldn’t make up its mind about how to proceed. I looked at the squirrel again and the baby squirrel wiggled in the mother squirrels mouth. Now I was certain that the mother squirrel meant no harm to its baby. Occasionally the mother would put its front foot up and push the baby back into its mouth. I realized that it was likely moving the baby squirrel from one site to another.
I began to take photos of the squirrel as it moved slowly around me. It was heading towards the creek and also towards my daughter, grand son and son-in-law. I took several photos.
The squirrel passed within a few feet of the others and they got a close up view of what was going on. The squirrel disappeared into a pile of boulders and later came back out retracing its steps and probably returning for another baby to transport.
Why would it do this? The only thing that makes sense is that something like a gopher snake had invaded its nest and the mother squirrel was rescuing as many young squirrels as possible.
Seeing the hairless and sightless baby exposed to the elements was a rare occurrence.