Telluride's wetlands at the entrance to town (open space with no buildings, no dogs allowed, prime winter elk habitat) has become home to an ever- enlarging population of the cutest and most interesting prairie dogs, according to my kids. Whenever we drive into or out of town, the kids make us (by screaming and hopping in their seats) slow down so they can try to spot the prairie dogs. “There's one standing on its hind legs looking for predators,” says my son. “There's a baby one with its family,” says my daughter. As the conversation continues about how she bets the large one is the dad, the one near the small one must be the mom, and the others must be sisters. “But where are they now, mama?” “They must be somewhere warm sleeping for the winter.” One day my daughter and I saw a beautiful and fluffy coyote (again her words) hunting down some prairie dogs at dusk one day. Can you say Wild Africa, Meerkat Manor? For two people who don't get to see such things often in life, we felt like we were on safari. Talk about a great school project or report! I think I can safely say, my kids look forward to a day when we can sit on a bench at one of many viewing points and see what exciting moments happen at dusk! By the way, has anyone begun studying the population and naming them? I'm sure my daughter would love to know the leader's name (i.e., similar to the local Porcupine near lift 12 that I've seen books about in the Telluride bookstore)?
– Christine von Roemer