March 13, 2013
Spring has been showing itself for some time now: pussy willows are flowering on Dalles Mountain Road and along area creeks, tree buds are swelling and robins are back in town. Even a few hummingbirds have been spotted.
Yet the most concrete evidence of warming temperatures is the reappearance of the ground squirrels. Having hibernated through the cold months, they begin to show themselves again on the first warm days, basking in the sun, flirting and nosing about.
Abundant and easily spotted, the little fellows vanish into their dens and tunnels when approached closely. The one pictured here was no exception, dashing into one end of the long metal tubes used to separate parking areas in a big gravel lot at Sherman High School when I rolled to a stop nearby. He soon popped out the other end of the tube, however, curious as to what was going on, and I was able to get his picture.
He appears to be wearing knee pads, perhaps he is busy spring cleaning his den.
This photograph was taken through an open car window, with a telephoto lens at 200mm, f4.5, shutter 1/320th of a second, ISO 250. The camera was mounted on a monopod and braced against the door frame.
Article and photo (c) 2013 Mark B. Gibson