Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fur Balls 1

Often our Museum guests may notice that some animals on exhibit are asleep.  Since guests may be perturbed that the animal on display seems to be nothing more than a sleeping "fur ball," I decided you might like to try to guess what each sleeping "fur ball" might be....this first sleeping animal is one that we often have on display on the Outdoor Trail during warmer summer months.  It might be pretty obvious to you:
This animal is also on our Outdoor Trail:
Also, another Outdoor Trail animal:
This animal is, again, an Outdoor Trail animal which sometimes sleeps up in a tree:
This last animal is in our Piedmont Mountain Gallery:
You probably already know that the first photo is of a skunk.  Of course, you noticed the two white stripes down its back--but did you know that no two skunks have the exact same stripe pattern?  The stripes vary in thickness and also how far apart the stripes are.  I've even seen a "striped" skunk without its stripes!:
The second photo is of a red fox.  They are usually awake at dusk and dawn ("crepuscular") but can be seen awake during the day as well.  We had a little snow the day before I took this photo--but with her beautiful red coat, she didn't seem to mind a bit!
The third photo was of one of my favorite subjects--one of our coyotes.  Not only was she awake when I took these photos, but she romped, galloped, and jumped in the bit of snow we recently had:
The animal in the tree was one of our raccoons--very agile climbers, the raccoons will often sleep in the "Y" of tree branches:
The last animal was of one our chipmunks.  Very cute!
So the moral of this story:  "Be patient, eventually all the "fur balls" wake up!"  I hope you enjoyed this edition of  "Off the Beaten Path"...more in two weeks!


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