Peekaboo

Among my favorite rodents are Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, previously highlighted in at least two posts (see here and here). Native to the American West, they reside mainly in coniferous and mixed forests, but may occupy habitat ranging from sagebrush country to areas above timberline, and are, therefore, frequently seen. As I have to resist the impulse to take one home with me, I comfort myself by taking too many pictures of these extremely photogenic creatures whenever the occasion arises. It did during a recent camping trip not too far from Colorado Springs, when I had two memorable chance meetings of the charming and cuddly kind.

In the first, I made the acquaintance of Peekaboo. As I was taking a stroll through the forest, I watched one squirrel disappear into a burrow. Stopping in my tracks for several minutes, my hopes for its reappearance were not disappointed. Very slowly, inch by inch, it showed itself: nose first, followed by ears and front paws, until it emerged in its entire elegance.

The next fellow’s name undoubtedly was Feed Me. When it showed up ON my picnic table at my campsite while I was enjoying a snack, I knew I was in trouble. I don’t usually feed wildlife, other than birds in our back yard (which invariably means that some neighborhood rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, and skunks benefit from the seeds that drop to the ground). When stared at intently by a pair of beautifully shaped and outlined eyes, is it any crime that my usually adamant stance first weakened, then collapsed?

I quickly resolved that a carrot stick would not be detrimental to an animal likely exposed to junk food at the campground most of the time; rather, it might even counteract some of the ill effects of such a diet. So I tossed one in its direction, and witnessed how Feed Me whittled it down by daintily holding and rotating it with its front paws. As I kept watching, photographing, and grinning, I rationalized that my provitamin A donation contributed to the ocular health of at least one of these cuties whose gaze melts my heart each time.

55 thoughts on “Peekaboo

  1. My 4 1/2 yr. old grandson, Benjamin, is enchanted with these two adorable Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels and loves their names. He thinks that they “look like a chipmunk and a squirrel mixed together.” They do have similar markings and tails of our chipmunks, and the faces of our squirrels. We are going to visit your other posts to see more of these sweet creatures. Thank-you x 2!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have some chipmunks (which belong to the same family as „yours“) living beneath my front porch and each year I hope that they will make it through the winter! What they do, to my delight!
    One MUST love them, they are so cute and their eyes are so pretty!
    Thanks for introducing us to Peekaboo and Feedme!
    Kindest regards,
    Christa

    Liked by 2 people

    • So weit ich weiß, ist dies bei uns keine invasive Art, worüber ich froh bin, denn es ist schwer, sie nicht zu lieben. Ich versuche immer, mich zu beherrschen, was das Füttern anbelangt, aber offensichtlich mache ich ab und zu mal eine Ausnahme. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ♥♥♥ Süüüüüüß!!!! Was für tolle Fotos! Wie es aus dem Loch kommt und die Karotte ißt, ist schon der Hammer! Aber das Porträt zum Schluß ist die Krönung der Niedlichkeit!!! Ich wäre auch versucht, sie mit nach Hause zu nehmen, haha!! Ich liebe sie ebenfalls und beneide dich, um diese “persönlichen” Begegnungen 🙂 Präriehunde, Murmeltiere, Ziesel, Erdmännchen und die hier, würde ich alle adoptieren 🙂 LG, Almuth

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful, adoreable shots, Tanja! I would have caved too! You know, if I was just shown the photos, I would have thought they were chipmunks. Thank you for sharing and enlightening me that I cannot take for granted that I am seeing a chipmunk. Squirrels come in all sizes and colors too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for condoning my not so ecologically sound intervention, Donna. 😊
      I used to confuse these ground squirrels with chipmunks, until I learned that the latter have striped faces which helps with ID.
      Squirrely greetings,
      Tanja

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tanja –
    It was so nice to learn the name of this adorable little creatures. We had always called them chipmunks when I was growing up. Your photos captured there playful spirit beautifully.
    -Jill

    Liked by 1 person

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