Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s Spotlight Thursday is of the . I took this photo is of a pair of round-tailed ground squirrel from my cross-country US road trips. On my way from Tennessee to Colorado, I stopped and spent a couple of days in Saguaro National Park. This park is around Tuscon, Arizona. The park has two regions split by the city of Tuscon. I spent time in both the Rincon Mountain District (Saguaro Park East) and Tucson Mountain District (Saguaro Park West).
I spent more of my time in the Tuscon Mountain District since more of the hiking trails were open. Many of the Rincon Trails were closed for maintenance. I had finished my morning 3-mile hike. I was sitting on a picnic table eating lunch when I see some movement out of the corner of my eye. On first glance, I don’t see anything. When I look closer, I see a small rodent like creature. I keep looking and suddenly I find about 10 more spread out around me. These cute little rodents are round-tailed ground squirrel. They are squirrels that dig burrows and live in family groups. I’m quite intrigued as the only time I seen a squirrel up close was when one got into my attic when I was younger and it ended in an exterminator coming to do the squirrel removal process.
As I watch the ground squirrels interact, I was reminded of the Animal Planet show Meerkat Manor which followed a family of Meerkats around. The family was clearing hanging out around on of the nursing dens since they had some babies that would pop out of the tunnels once and a while. One of the squirrels was always standing up keeping an eye out for predators and on me.