Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Prairie Dogs

(Sorry about not posting yesterday. I had a post planned, but as it was the day after the fourth of July, things were crazy. You see my dog absolutely hates fireworks. It was a late night and an early morning. Bleh. Anyway, on to a new Western Wednesdays.)

Being from the South I'm used to squirrels. Crazy, crazy, attack squirrels. Squirrels that have absolutely no fear and will come right up to you and eye you like crazed animals. Anyway, being used to said squirrels, I don't usually see any other small rodents. Chipmunks? Never saw one until I visited Boston. We don't need them in the South. We have squirrels, which not only fill an evolutionary nitch but scare all the other creatures of that sort away.

Here in New Mexico we don't have squirrels or mere chipmunks. No, no, we have prairie dogs.

Next to my apartment complex lives a whole colony of prairie dogs. (I'm not sure if they're called colonies but go with it). They kind of act like merekats, which I've seen on the Lion King and at Disney's Animal Kingdom. They live in burrows in the ground and occasionally you see one stand up on its back legs and just stare into the distance, as if on lookout for predators. They also run between the holes in the earth and occasionally wrestle with each other. I think they're incredibly cute. Apparently native New Mexicans think of them as pests.

I mentioned them to a New Mexican coworker. I expected her to react like we might react at the mention of squirrels in Atlanta. They look cute from afar but be aware. Those squirrels are vicious and they're not going anywhere. Instead she reacted as if I might have mentioned rats. In her mind they're pests that need to be gotten rid of.

It's weird. They don't seem like pests to me. They just stay in their little colony; they don't infest my apartment. It's possible they carry diseases. But it seems that if I just stay out of their little colony and don't bother them, they won't bother me.

Anyone out there know about Prairie Dogs? Or have local crazy rodents?

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