Yellow-Bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Canon 100-400mm lens @ 400mm
1/800 sec @ f5.6
© Teklanika Photography 2013
Wonderful bunch of days in the woods! Rain or shine, the natural beauty of Grand County never ceases to amaze me. Plenty of moose, elk, deer, fox, marmot and osprey – but still no pine marten shots… patience, patience.
“Years ago, vast herds of mountain buffalo roamed the Spirit Lake meadows. According to legend, one year, the lake froze over in early December. Early snowfalls blanketed the entire lake, with the exception of one little patch in the center. The ice formed and thickened quickly, allowing buffalo herds to roam freely on the lake’s surface. Buffalo tracks were everywhere, but one set of tracks in particular had everyone’s attention. The tracks originated from the open patch of water and returned to the same spot. They were enormous, larger than anything anyone had ever seen. The incident gave birth to the name Spirit Lake – because many believed that a supernatural buffalo emerged from the depths of what is now called Grand Lake… surfacing from time to time to roam the frozen waters.” – Grand County Chamber of Commerce
Another busy week, and a great week for wildlife watching. Saw another pine marten – these guys are fast, but I will get a decent shot this summer, eventually. Plenty of moose and osprey, some elk, deer and yellow-bellied marmots, and enough bear action to keep me happy. I was able to watch a young brown-phase black bear swim across a pond near Grand Lake as I fumbled to prepare my camera and tripod – lesson again learned and hopefully this time remembered, always have your camera ready.
Working in Grand Lake for the Division of Wildlife now, frequent updates will be a bit more difficult to pull off… The past week was excellent – plenty of wildlife and beautiful vistas to be seen in Grand County. I saw my first wild pine marten, spent some time with several moose (mostly bulls, but a couple of cows and calves as well) and elk (again, mostly bulls), and was able to focus on many of the osprey nesting around the lakes in the area. Looking forward to spending the next couple of days at Roxy and Chatty, hoping for new bear and coyote shots.
It seems like May, one of my favorite months for photography, passed by so quickly this year… I spent a good portion of the month outdoors, and, with patience and luck, was able to see and photograph many of the wild creatures that call Colorado home: moose, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, lynx, coyote, fox, porcupine, beaver, yellow-bellied marmot, muskrat, black-tailed prairie dog, abert’s squirrel, american pika, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, spotted ground squirrel, golden mantel ground squirrel, vole, great blue heron, canada goose, cackling goose, bald eagle, golden eagle, great horned owl, night heron, glossy ibis, osprey, cormorant, snowy egret, raven, mallard, cinnamon teal, wood duck, ring-necked duck, common merganser, redhead, red-tailed hawk, cooper’s hawk, prairie falcon, magpie, crow, steller’s jay, avocet, killdeer, northern flicker, bullock’s oriole, kestrel, kingfisher, mountain bluebird, broad-tailed hummingbird, red-throated hummingbird and a ton of other small birds.
A few snapshots from last month:
Only a couple of weeks until Spring yields to the dry heat of Summer, bring on the bears!
The road to Mt. Evans finally opened on the 28th, so I was really excited to get up there in search of mountain goats. The trip up on the 30th presented some awesome vistas and a couple of marmots, but only one goat – a big billy on the run at about a million yards. Early morning on the 31st, however, made for some great goat shooting.
A couple of days on an alpine mountaintop with my wife and her mom, a great way to spend Memorial Day weekend, thanks guys!