Thursday, July 2, 2009


You may remember this little gal from a previous entry, back in May. It's hard to believe, but in only one month's time, she is now a full-grown adult, living on her own, and doing what squirrels do during the summer months - fatten up for the winter months.

I believe that she's a female because she has remained in the natal burrow with one other from the litter. This is normal behavior for female roundtails. The males have already moved on to new burrows of their own.

I'm amazed at how quickly small animals grow, especially rodents. She's nearly doubled in size, eating a diet that is almost exclusively vegetarian. They eat leaves and twigs, seed pods that drop from the native trees, cactus fruit, and the occasional carrot from the nice lady with the camera. I've read that they also supplement their diet with protein from insects, primarily termites. Thank you!

Anyway, just posting this so all can see the remarkable transformation that took place in only one month. Had I not been monitoring this litter of roundtails, I would never have recognized her (though her extreme willingness to pose for my camera may have been a clue).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Okay, technically it's "scat," but I love saying the word poop. I feel compelled to post this picture, so as not to be outdone by fellow artist and bio-nerd Ann Ranlett.

Last night it rained pretty hard, the first desert monsoon of the season. This morning I found what was left of this coyote scat - all fur and bone fragments. I pulled it apart a bit to check out the bone fragments, and found a dime-sized jaw bone with teeth intact (upper left of photo). You probably have to be a major nature lover to appreciate this, but I thought it was pretty cool. Whatever this coyote ate, it was eaten whole. I'm thinking small rodent, probably something nocturnal, like a mouse or baby pack rat.

I regret to inform you that this photo will not be available for sale anytime soon, nor will it be appearing on any greeting cards or refrigerator magnets (hmmmm . . . refrigerator magnets). If any of my fellow artists would like to use it as a reference photo, you have my permission. You're welcome. ;)