This gallery contains 3 photos. By far, Columbian Ground Squirrels are the most entertaining wildlife at Manning Park, and the first ones to greet us in the parking lot of Manning Park Resort. They were certainly much more visible “greeters” to the area than the Hoary Marmots (which we did not see) and the diminutive Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels (which we often glimpsed scrambling for their hidey-holes). Photographed on June 5.
this one is quite comfortable with my lens (probably expecting a tasty treat).
f/8, 1/250, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 250
These Prairie Dogs of the West were positioned near their network of holes in the ground (or in rotted tree stumps) and often called to others in an upright position like meerkats or groundhogs (when they weren’t eating voraciously; chasing each other around; or kissing). Kissing, incidentally, is how they say hello to each other.
one (of two) reasons not to leave your picnic table unguarded!
f/6.3, 1/400, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 250.
We found plenty of these Seven Sleepers at Manning Park Resort and Lightning Lake (particularly near the picnic tables). Columbian Ground Squirrels spend virtually every moment of the short summer days bulking up on fat reserves (they look like balloons at the end of summer) for their hibernation period, which lasts for seven months! Once they emerge from their long winter slumber, they are quite gaunt and ravenously hungry.
now this is a face that’s hard to resist.
f/8, 1/1000, 150-500mm telephoto, 370mm, ISO 500