Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ziggy and Some Squirrel Booty

With so many wild babies running around my barn, I can't help but hope to tame a few of them for the sole purpose of petting.  I could easily spend the rest of my life in a petting zoo.  I get bummed every time I see a petting zoo that has an age limit to it.  Us grown ups like to pet too.

I haven't seen Charity the wild desert cottontail since that sighting several weeks ago when she came when I called.  I suspect that part of why I lost her is because I was dead-on in guessing that she is female.  She's probably busy mating and nesting and raising her kits.  But, the good news is that I have a new bunny buddy who comes when I call, and he's a guy... I hope.

All the wild cottontails I know are just plain grey.  It's difficult to differentiate between them.  However, this guy has a black zig-zag running right across the front of his face, as well as a semi-circle of black around one eye.  I call him Ziggy.

I plan to try to get a close up of his face some day so I can study it.  I don't know if the fur is black because there is a scar or if it is just a variation in fur color.

Today we had mama and baby round-tailed ground squirrels running all over the yard.  This one is a mama.  You can see her weary teats.

This is another picture of the mama trying to get her baby away from me the other day...

I think she was biting the baby to discipline it and the baby was biting her back, but I suppose she could have been bringing it food.

Anyway, many of these little squirrels will allow me to get in quite close to them, and I usually just stand back and talk to them so they'll get used to me.  I've been wanting to pet one, but I've read that they bite pretty hard.  I figured that petting a wild squirrel just wasn't in the cards for me unless I pegged it with a tranquilizer dart first.  However, today I actually got to pet TWO wild ground squirrels!

How did I do it?  Well, I cheated.

You see, I was busy dumping my wagon full of manure when these two baby ground squirrels both bolted down a hole at the same time to get away from me, and they got stuck.  The hole wasn't wide enough for both of them, so both their butts and tails were sticking up in the air.

It was hilarious, because they were squeaking at each other as if saying, "Get out of my way before this lady touches my butt!"

Of course, I had to reach down and pet those squirrel butts and fluffy tails.  I honestly don't think either of them knew I was petting them, because they were so squashed up against each other that they probably thought it was their sibling's tail touching them.  They started kicking dirt out of the hole, trying to widen it, so hopefully they got themselves out of that predicament.  I didn't stick around very long, because I wanted to give them their space to break free.  I probably could have pulled one up and out, but their little bodies were so fragile that I didn't want to risk injuring them, and of course I probably would have gotten bit once the head came out of the hole.

They kind of reminded me of Laurel and Hardy or two of the Stooges walking through a doorway at the exact same time, getting stuck, and then hitting each other to try to get unstuck.

All I can say is never stop hoping, because even the seemingly most impossible things can be made possible when you least expect it.  I got to pet a wild squirrel and didn't even need to tranq it.


Camryn said...

I imagine you're right & they had no idea they'd been petting. Are ground squirrlels & prairie dogs the same species? I've always wondered.

Cheryl Ann said...

I was at the kitchen sink 2 days ago and I was looking out into our palo verde tree. There were 4 wittle eyes staring back at me. It was a momma tree rat and her young one! ACK! I squealed at them and they disappeared. Momma appeared again the next day. I feed the birds out there, so she must have been after the birdseed. It is unusual to see them during the day, so she must be starving. OF COURSE she disappeared under our roof tiles! OY!

Crystal said...

Haha I can picture them trying to go down that hole at the same time. I wanna pet out little bush bunnies they look so soft but they are pretty wild and with our cat its probly better that way

Linda said...

You've got a little wildlife sanctuary at your place. I've always wanted to pet a squirrel. And that really does look like a scar on the bunny. I'm curious now.