An early up to get in a hike before it gets too hot. Views are muted by smoke. Once I was home I looked it up on InciWeb. The smoke is thicker to the north so I think we are looking at the effects from the Corral Fire which is about 26 miles north of us. We walk the Hydra Trail from the visitor’s center north and east to the Pegasus Campground then back to camp.
Jack rabbits and desert cottontails are everywhere. So are large soil mounds with entrances. A burrowing critter to be sure. But what is it?
A camp host said the mounds were from ground squirrels. If there is one squirrel per mound, there is more poundage of ground squirrel per acre than a two-year-old steer.
We relax under the awning and watch the activity in the soapweed yuccas. It’s like an interstate. Little bugs are crawling all over it. A dozen black flies are around each plant. A half dozen variety of bees or things that sorta look like bees buzz about.
Birds feed on the bugs. Even quail fly up.
Margo watches a rock squirrel as it impresses her with its intelligence. It crawls past the dangerous petal points to the thick stem and crawls up it. The upper part of the stem leans over until it almost touches the ground. The squirrel sits like he’s on a chair and carefully chooses the tastiest flowers. When he’s satisfied, he steps off. The six foot stem doesn’t sprong back to vertical. So that’s why they are leaning.
At 6pm, we head for another walk among the rocks.