While we miss having students here, we are taking advantage of this time and discovering ways to adapt to our new surroundings without students present. There is much more wildlife action around camp and it's been fun watching and learning more about our furry residents. One of them is the ground squirrel. These brown squirrels differ from the typical tree-nesting Grey Squirrel because they live in burrows in the ground. Their burrows can be anywhere from 5ft to 40ft deep. When searching for food such as manzanita berries, grass seeds, acorns, and insects, they never stray too far from their front door. Burrows are key to keeping them safe: in most you'll find a creative tunnel system with nurseries, food storage, and escape routes.
In the quiet, we can hear them too: if they sense danger they'll stand up on their hind legs and shout with a high pitched, sharp alarm call. The biggest predator for the Ground Squirrel is the rattlesnake, and luckily they have a few different survival techniques. One amazing adaptation this squirrel has is heating its tail and waving it at the rattlesnake to confuse and intimidate the snake, since rattlesnakes can sense infrared.