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NATURE et Biodiversité..! NATURE et Biodiversité..!



Anne Elliott
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southern Alberta
Callospermophilus lateralis
near Canada-US border
Spermophilus lateralis
Cameron Falls
© Anne Elliott 2017
7 July 2017
chipmunk-like stripes but no facial stripes
side view
wild animal
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Waterton Lakes National Park

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Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Late yesterday afternoon, 9 July 2017, I arrived back home from a wonderful three-day trip to Waterton Lakes National Park. I had just been on a one-day bus trip to this beautiful park on 24 June 2017, so felt very lucky to be returning for a longer stay so soon. I travelled there and back with friend, Darlene, who had very kindly offered to take me, and we had a fun time, seeing so many interesting things. Thank you SO much, Darlene - I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated being able to go on this trip with you!

Three days of 32C temperatures, and then I arrived home to find that my thermostat read 29C inside my home. I am not good at dealing with the heat and then to walk and hike in such temperatures was exhausting. Back in Calgary, we had already been having a heatwave and now, the forecast is for more hot days. This morning, it rained for a while and temporarily cooled a little.

It was wonderful to again be surrounded by such magnificent scenery, go on a few walks/hikes with plenty of time to look for, and photograph, wildflowers, insects, and a few birds and animals. Lots of good company with around 20 (?) people, some of whom I already knew and lots of new faces, too. The trip was organized by Nature Calgary. Everyone was free to go wherever they wanted each day, but for the two nights, we stayed at the very basic Canyon Church Camp, off the Red Rock Parkway. Dorm-style cabins (about which I will say nothing, lol!), but they do have showers and even flush toilets at the camp. We were fed SO well - lots of variety and good food. We were given two breakfasts and two suppers, plus a packed lunch for the two days. Our huge thanks go out to Jean Kennedy, the camp cook, who cooked and prepared these great meals for us! Jean was there in 2015 and 2016, when I attended this weekend, and it was really good news when I was told that she would be there again this time. The food was so much enjoyed and greatly appreciated!

Not sure just where to begin, so I grabbed and edited these three photos this morning. This little Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel was seen on our first day in Waterton, when Darlene and I stopped at Cameron Falls on the edge of town. The cooling mist that came from the waterfalls felt so good! As usual, this little animal was doing what these cute animals tend to do - approach people, look cute, and beg for food! A little girl was feeding this one - not sure what it's eating, but I prefer to think it is nibbling on raw carrot rather than some kind of fake-coloured chip. I saw a number of empty sunflower seed shells scattered on the ground, too. Of course, WILDLIFE SHOULD NEVER BE FED!! However, I hope the children feeding this little animal will develop a love for wildlife and grow up to help protect any kind of creature.

Our huge thanks to Andrew for organizing this trip so brilliantly! He has been organizing these annual weekends for a number of years now. A great time was had by all.


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