Just Another Day at the Ranch

Took the family to the ranch today. Cold and Windy. Not the kind of day that you want when looking for critters.

My grandson is wild about anything that’s alive. Everything is new and exciting. As he and his father wandered up the creek from where we parked, I began a slow walk up another draw. A ground squirrel appeared and if there had been anything else around to watch, I probably would have paid it no attention. But, I did look and it appeared that there was something in its mouth, so I raised my field glasses and looked.

This is what I saw.

ground squirrel mother DSC_0998[1]

Very compelling and one of the best subjects I’ve ever seen.

CA Ground Squirrels

California ground squirrels create a network of holes and tunnels that is used by many other critters. These include threatened and endangered species such as the California Tiger Salamander and the California red-legged frog. Fence lizards, rattle snakes, gopher snakes and king snakes also make these tunnels their home.

These ground squirrels, which are sometimes called ring-neck ground squirrels, are also a food source for bobcats, coyotes and gray foxes as well as raptors.

Golden eaglesĀ  and red-tailed hawks are a primary hunter of these rodents. They are also good targets for varmint shooters.

I’ve often wondered if the early settlers survived off grounds squirrels. They are quite numerous and I’m sure they could be tasty.

From my trail camera.