Geomys bursarius (deceased) and mementos of his presence
Last night right at dusk Emma was growling and whining at the front door. This is unusual for her as she usually just barks when there is an alleged intruder or she wants to get my attention. This was different. Not wanting for her to tie into three or four over-bold coyotes (though I think she's quite up to it), I stepped out on the deck for a a moment alone and looked around. Nothing, so I let her out and returned to cooking a bite to eat.
After a few minutes I went back to check on her and she was standing over something and worrying it. I went to see what it was and found she had caught and killed a pocket gopher. Great, since the little bastards have been making the WWI battlefield out of my so-called front yard. I told her how great she was and she got the idea. I have no idea how she caught it, as they very rarely leave their burrows, and only then to push up the mounds of dirt and sand they have excavated since their last surfacing. However she did it, she gets the Gopher Medal with Prickly Pear Clusters.
Pocket gophers are about a foot long, including the tail. This one weighed a pound, maybe a squinch more. They have prodigious teeth and digging claws. The mounds in the picture above are about 8" high and 24" in diameter and are a major PIA.