Hidden gems

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On a recent walk through sagebrush scrub and grassland we were treated to numerous hidden gems along the way. Lupines flowering amongst the grasses still mainly brown after a winters sleep.

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Shooting stars in clusters were dispersed along the way. Never a thick carpet, just a sprinkling, every now and then.

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Bluebells dangled in little clumps…

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and Penstemon light the way.

Hidden gems indeed.

13 lined Ground Squirrel

The photo is a bit blurry but so was our encounter with the 13 Lined Ground Squirrel. We were watching a Prairie Dog Colony and there was one Prairie Dog that just did not seem like the others. He was thinner and smaller. They would stand up tall and then quickly dart to another location very rapidly. They were much more hidden in the grass as well. We tried over and over to get a good look but this is  the best we got that afternoon. A fleeting glimpse of a magnificent 13 lined ground squirrel.

http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Spermophilus_tridecemlineatus/

Seeing a new animal made me realize once again that life is so diverse and wonderful and there is so much yet to see.