We recently found our back yard with a new addition to it that did not realize had been installed. Looking out of our windows, we noticed a large mound of dirt previously not there before. Soon, a distinctive face popped up from behind the dirt: A badger!
When looking straight at the dirt pile, it didn’t seem that large. But when we walked out there once the badger was underground again, we realized the amount of dirt that had been moved was nearly 7-8 feet wide.
Even the neighborhood barn cat (who we affectionately call Winter) was curious and decided to investigate precariously close to the hole.
Soon after these photos were taken, we spotted the badger at night on a game cam we put out in the back with a single baby. Thus, we dubbed the yard infiltrator Bernadette the Badger.
Bernadette is welcome to stay so long as no major damage is done beyond the den she dug to move her baby to. We’ll be keeping a careful eye on the back yard, but so far, she’s bothered no one. As long as we keep the peace, she’s welcome to the space until she moves on in a few weeks most likely.
A few days ago I saw what I though was a chipmunk flitting through the grass under our bird feeder. On closer inspection, I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing when I noticed the striping down this little guy’s back. But sure enough, on searching the internet, I had a thirteen striped ground squirrel! Who knew such a little critter existed. Now to hold out hope he or she doesn’t have friends or family currently tunneling into our yard.
Sometimes photos pop up at the most inconvenient moments. Like this one where I was leisurely coming down the stairs to my kitchen on the first floor of my home and saw this gorgeous creature on my back patio fence. I had to decide between taking a not-so-great picture with my phone, or taking a chance that it would still be there if I sprinted back upstairs to grab my 200mm lens. I took a chance and raced upstairs, trying to assemble my camera while flying back down again. Obviously it’s not in great focus as I was trying to catch my breath and still the camera, but at least the owl stayed put long enough to take one decent shot.
My yard in Fort Collins, CO is nearly always occupied by any number of small bunnies looking for a peaceful snack or nap. Yes, they do leave little spots of matted grass after an afternoon of napping, but look at those ears 🙂
I’m actively trying to improve my skills at selecting the right aperture for bright, beaming sunshine. Lately I’ve been horrible at washing out my photos by forgetting to change that basic setting on my camera. This cute furball was my first subject of the day while out for a day of shooting (first rifle, then pictures). I know, ground squirrels are pests and the cause of many, many problems. But darn if they’re not cute as a button.
I’m not sure if this is the same earless lizard I saw a few weeks ago; this one is smaller I think. No doubt, even in our shooting spot, there are many.
I’m also trying to up-skill a bit on focusing on smaller subjects on the fly. However in this photo I was really focusing on the flowers and had no idea a grasshopper was in my view until I loaded the image to my laptop. Observant of me, no?
This fellow was hanging on to this blade of grass for all he was worth. It’s not noticeable in the pictures but the wind was whipping and this guy had clamped onto the grass and was riding the gusts like a championship bull rider. It was a day for critters of all sizes!
This was my skittish visitor who regularly frequented our target shooting location two weeks ago on a hot afternoon in Wyoming. On checking a few websites, it seems this fast sprinter is a Great Plains Earless Lizard. It was quite humorous to see it race up to us and back away again over and over. I’m not sure if it was simply curious or posturing but it certainly was a brave thing.
This second photo admittedly I had to edit extensively. Yours Truly ignored all intelligent thought and left her aperture on the wrong setting for a squint-worthy bright group of pictures. But this one I was able to edit back to a more realistic brightness and contrast to be able to post. I was hoping to keep this one as it made us chuckle to see it scurry over and then stand up to watch us a time or two before disappearing back into the scrub.
Someone got caught mid-acorn snatch and seemed to think he’d suddenly turned invisible. Not even a hair on his tail twitched at all once it was obvious he’d been spotted. I found it hysterically funny: The mouth full of acorn and dirt on the nose. Proverbial hand (or paw) was definitely caught in the cookie jar.