Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Checking out the Baker Creek Marmots

Hello, yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaventris)! I was hoping this species, so I piled some kids in the van and we headed up the Baker Creek road. Even though it was an overcast afternoon, we easily found a marmot in the middle of the road.

He lifted his head to sniff, but then went back to digging his hole in the road.

We kept going closer in the vehicle, and eventually he decided he should depart. He waddled over a few feet to the side of the road. They can weigh up to 11 pounds, and this one has certainly been eating well. The most amazing thing (to me) is that marmots hibernate for eight months of the year. He's only been out a month or two and has already found enough greens, insects, and eggs to eat to pork him up.

They burrow in colonies, with a dominant male for the group. They live in the western U.S. and Canada.

Although some marmots whistle to warn each other of predators, I've never heard them whistle in Great Basin National Park.

They can live up to fifteen years, although the ones that dig holes in the road usually get hit by cars.

Marmots spend about 80% of their life in their burrow. Look at the dirt on this one's nose!

I did manage to photograph more than marmots. Here's a snow buttercup, one of the first flowers to appear after the snow melts.

I enticed the kids for a short walk. Just to the second bridge! Then the boys turned back.

But Desert Girl was ready for more, so we went on to the fifth bridge.

It started raining and even hailing. We enjoyed it.

It's so nice to be exploring further up the mountain! The snow is rapidly melting now.

1 comment:

iamtjc said...

Great Pictures !!!

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