Early every Friday morning my friend Chris and I walk for an hour or so on the walking trail near my house. We frequently see rabbits and hummingbirds and occasionally coyotes. This morning I saw an Arizona Cotton Rat. In fact, he ran right in front of me--I nearly stepped on him!
The photo above was taken by someone at the Sonoran Desert Museum. Even though my little friend seemed slow for one of his kind, he was too fast for my camera.
The walking trail goes behind some houses and eventually connects to the sidewalk next to the main road through Sun City Grand. My little buddy came from a grassy area between the sidewalk and the street. He ran in front of me, but behind Chris, and disappeared under a bush. She missed seeing him. I'm sure she was disappointed.
He was 4 to 5 inches long and very well fed. I know some people hate anything to do with mice or rats, but I don't mind them--in the right place. And this was a good spot for him. There were no houses nearby. He should be able to live here happily until he becomes lunch or dinner for a coyote or Harris Hawk.
They always say that Walking is good for you--and you never know what you'll see.