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Monday, March 2, 2015

More Rodents Than Usual?

Early flowers
In all the years I've hiked in the Chihuahuan Desert I have never seen the superabundance of rodent trails as I have this year.  I'm not sure of the cause, but I wonder if the predator  population (coyotes, foxes, etc.) is down.  Don't mean to offend with the image of feces below, but I found two piles which were  exactly the same--both with orange berries I couldn't identify--and both separated by vast distant.  The one pictured here we ran across in the far outback while we were bushwhacking across the desert floor.. 
Cutting across the foothills

Gloomy morning

Looking for other hikers

Bee getting pollen already

Torrey Yucca

Torrey Yuccas, Potrillo Mountains on the horizon

Loggerhead Shrike

Soaptree Yucca

Rodent trail

Bushwhacking across the desert floor

Another rodent trail

Which berries in this feces?


Dr. K said...

Signs of spring! And I don't mean the berries in the feces.

Scott said...

I came across raccoon feces lately, and they were filled with seeds of (invasive, non-native) Asian bittersweet. It's hard to believe that the raccoon could find these fruits, given how far into the winter we are. I'm surprised that birds (or other raccoons) had not eaten the fruits long ago. I don't see ANYTHING to eat out in the preserve right now, but there are still robins hanging around, so they're finding something to eat. Obviously, wildlife is very resourceful.

packrat said...

Wildlife is resourceful, Scott; just wish I could identify what that particular critter was eating.

A Nice Bushwhack

Mourning Dove on nest in our backyard We didn't plan on it when we set off on our hike this morning, but we did a fairly long bushwhack ...