Masthead: Kaweah Range

Continued from: An Unexpected Meeting

American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
Photo: Virtual Badger Sett

Remaining quiet, with the wind blowing towards me, I anticipated a closer look. The creature ambled towards me, less coyote-like with each step until I recognized the unexpected badger. It seemed to navigate exclusively with its nose. I stood unmoving as the badger sniffed and waddled my way until its nose touched my boot. Looking down at those formidable digging claws, a tightening fear passed through my stomach. The badger appeared equally repulsed by the intimacy as it wiggled backwards on the trail, scenting intensely and never once looking up at me. At a comfortable distance, it made an arc around me, rejoined the trail and proceeded about its business.

I followed the badger south for a quarter hour as it pursued golden mantled ground squirrels in a tangle of fallen trees. It positioned itself amidst the logs where the squirrels had lately been active, flattened itself on the ground blending with the tawny grass and waited for the squirrels to forget it was there. After two failed attempts the badger dropped into a small ravine and out of sight.

Further Reading

California Department of Fish and Game Fact Sheet
Natureworks: American Badger

Badgers.org: American Badger

 



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Mt. Lyell Salamander
Hydromantes platycephalus


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Masthead Photo from:
Kaweahs From Trailcrest, Kings Canyon National Park
© 2009, Howard Weamer