I spied this little fellow a couple of days ago. It was my first sighting of a Yellow-bellied Marmot this Spring. It must have seen its shadow and scurried back into its barrow. The next day the weather turned wet and the weatherman predicted stormy conditions the next few (six?) days.
This picture was taken seventy-one years ago.
My attitude has changed over the years. I now feel sorry for the bear.
Occasionally when I stop along the road a group of onlookers gather nearby.
Yesterday I saw my first chipmunk of the season. This prompted me to browse through my photo files. I came across this shot of the greedy little beggars stuffing their cheeks with food I set out for the birds. The birdseed soon disappeared. Would you call this a herd of chipmunks, a gaggle, or a flock?
The day after Christmas I made a visit to my daughter’s home near Cascade. A view from the window revealed a sleeping red fox laying curled up sleeping on the snow in an open field below the house. It remained there for several hours shifting position occasionally. Late in the afternoon it aroused itself and trotted off toward some nearby trees where it paused long enough for me to shoot the above picture. I was shooting through a double pane window, using a 30 power zoom with the subject several hundred yards distant. This was just before sundown evidenced by the long shadows.
Snow piled up under the eaves of the house this winter. Warm weather melted all of the snow in the yard except for this drift next to the house. The center melted away exposing this rodent nest. Some species of rodent had built itself a nice warm place to spend the winter.
I am wondering how this nest could have been built beneath the hard packed snow. I suppose that a cavern seven or eight inches in diameter was excavated and long grasses hauled in through tiny tunnels. This is in an area that I kept grass short with a lawn mower during the summer. I never cease to be amazed at the structures these creatures build.
I came upon this fellow about ten years ago in Owyhee county. I stopped and at a distance started shooting with my camera from my car. I advanced and periodically stopped for more pictures until I was about 20 feet away. I got out of the car, leaned over the hood and got some good close pictures. The badger seemed to sense my presence but continued to excavate his burrow. This was a very satisfying ten minutes of my trip.
When you find this in the yard you know an elk has paid a visit.
Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I stepped out of the house and found this little frog on the step. The temperature was near freezing. The sun had risen high enough to cast a beam of warm light on the stone step. Cold blooded though it was the frog had crept out of its sleeping quarters to this warm beam of light. It remained there motionless while I passed by several times. At one point I advanced the camera within inches of this cold creature. A short time later the frog moved out of sight.
This encounter made me thankful that I could generate my body heat from within and not depend on an external source.
The advantage of living in the mountains is that you may see wildlife all around you.