Wednesday, May 13, 2009

California ground squirrel
Otospermophilus beecheyi

I'm not a huge oh-look-how-cute-a-squirrel kind of person, but this one posed so nicely on the Vernal Falls Trail I had to take a pic. We only hiked to the footbridge since it was our last morning in Yosemite and we didn't want to get soaking wet from the spray. Most of the trail information is misleading; "moderate" my ass! It's a fairly steep trail from the get-go and I was amazed to see people pushing strollers up the paved path - likely due to the mislead. I compare the difficulty level to the Upper Yosemitie Falls Trail, but Vernal is much shorter. If anything, I think the smooth continuous grade paving makes it harder to hike than traditional dirt and rock. Thankfully, we were heading down by the time most of the long-weekend tourists were heading up this very popular trail.

ps 01/09/11 - I think this is a California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi) mainly based on its stubby tail.

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