Creatures big and small passed in front of my lenses over my past photo year. No matter their size, all were special to see from the pika and mink to the bison, bighorn and pronghorn. Here’s a look back at my favorite mammal captures from my past photo year.
Sometimes those critters know how to give you just the right look. 😉
Taken on a relatively mild summer’s day at 13,000 feet, much has changed up there since then. A recent system deposited the first snow of the season at Colorado’s highest altitudes signaling the arrival of fall. No doubt this little one and its family a continuing their preparations for the long, cold, snowy winter ahead.
Taken this past weekend, this little one was not shy one bit. I suspect the little bugger was contemplating climbing into my truck’s engine compartment (something they are known to do). Even though I was lying on the ground between the truck and it, it kept getting closer and closer, stopping every few feet to see what I was going to do. I let it get within a few feet and decided that wasn’t a risk I was going to take and shooed it away. Not today, little one, not today!
I have taken thousands of pictures of these guys but only a few times have I gotten images of them standing up. Kind of fun as normally you get them just sunning on the rocks at high altitude. With all the lingering snow in the Colorado high country, they will have a bit shorter season to prepare for the next winter and their eight-month long hibernation.
A cute one for #MarmotMonday.
This marmot pup was a bit distraught when its mother headed down the mountain and out of sight. It popped tall, trying to spot her then began calling to her. Mama was in no rush to return though and this pup and its siblings ended up navigating the boulder field down the mountain to get to her.
This was taken on a beautiful August morning at 14,000 feet. No doubt this same spot is buried under several feet of snow right now and it will be a few months or more before the snow is cleared and I am able to return.
Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil has nothing on this handsome dude from the Colorado high country. Yeah, Dave may not get all the press about shadows and spring versus winter but he brings that western attitude and lives in far less hospitable environs above timberline than his flatland cousin.
I met Dave this past summer on Mount Evans and he was a rather cheeky fellow, guarding his territory and giving me some pretty fun poses and looks like this one. I look forward to visiting with him and his family again here in a few months.
His cousin Phil saw his shadow this morning so we supposedly have six more weeks of winter. It will take longer than that to clear the snow from Dave’s place though. 😉
Last but not least in my look back at my photo year, we come to mammals big and small – with a reptile thrown in for good measure as well. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to photograph so many of the creatures which we share this planet with. Each one is special and each chance to see them thrills me. Enjoy this view of pika, marmots, bison, foxes, bears and so much more!
Look at this cutie! Not only is it absolutely precious, it has some unusual coloring. All of the other marmot pups I have seen were a red / brown color. This one, however, is more of gray / black dominant.
No matter the color, it was one of the most fun marmot pups I got to watch recently as it was quite curious about me. Initially it popped up over the rock as seen here but the, much to my surprise, hopped much closer. Only when I moved did it run back to a safer spot. I was glad cause I was beginning to get worried it was going to run up my pant leg. 😀
It is a little tough to tell exactly what is going on just by viewing the pics but it was quite a little battle. I’ve seen marmots “play fight” as part of their mating rituals but I have never seen them truly go head-to-head in a real fight – until this day.
The larger marmot had gathered up some alpine grass and had left it on a rock the marmot was sitting on. A second, smaller marmot apparently wanted some of the meal / bedding but the first was not in the mood to share.
When the second marmot approached, the first latched onto the intruder’s head with its teeth! Immediately a screaming sound ripped through the silence at 14,000 feet as the smaller marmot tried to escape the larger one’s grasp.
It began back-pedaling, trying desperately to get away as the defender held on to its head. Finally, the smaller marmot broke free and, needless to say, quickly scampered
One for Marmot Monday. Certainly summertime temperatures at 14,000 feet of 42 degrees are mild compared to what these guys endure in the winter. Nevertheless, they do seem to enjoy the relative warmth, oftentimes just hanging out and seeming to sunbathe on the rocks. This guy had a nice spot to perch, high on a boulder with stunning views of the Mount Evans Wilderness all around.