Mile 505, still on the Coconino Plateau

Not much to report today, just a lot of forest walking. And looking for water sources that are better than vile. A cattle tank in late summer and fall is not a pretty sight.

An average water hole on the Coconino Plateau

I have been frustrated in my attempts to photograph the forest’s most notable resident, the Kaibab squirrel. One of the drawbacks of hiking south is that the sun is usually facing you, backlighting any photographic subject to an excess degree.

It’s a shame, as they are truly handsome fellows. Their tufted ears, large eyes and short snouts give them a young-Yoda look of wisdom and serenity, traits not usually associated with squirrels. Their gray and buff coats blend down to their luxuriously bushy tails, which are fringed with a regal white margin. They are nearly as large as a small fox and are relatively comfortable on the floor of the well-spaced trees of the ponderosa woodlands. They can sprint amazingly fast. Much too fast for me to get out my camera, it appears.

Maybe tomorrow.