This picture of a hungry marmot was the last picture my camera took before the shutter packed it in. At least it went out on a high note!
I’ve chosen the Canon 7D to be my 20D’s successor, a friend at work was showing me his and I think its new features will add a lot of fun to my photography in a similar way that the 20D did five years ago. Now I just have to find one!
Another view of the marmots from the colony near the Skyline Trail, two juveniles being watched by an adult. With the two youngsters side-by-side, you can really see the variability in their coloring, black coat on the left and white coat on the right.
Different colors. Equally chubby.
All hoary marmots have dark fur in their face and feet, and in some it extends into the shoulders and even legs. But this gang of four, part of a colony near the Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, had the most dark fur I’ve yet seen, mixing in over much of their bodies. Some of the others in the colony had more typical coloring and they intermingled between two large rocks, so I was pleased when these four finally got together to pose for their family portrait.
Two young marmots play in a mountain meadow as one of the adults of the colony looks on. While this adult had the typical lighter coloring, many others had a preponderance of dark fur and I suspect one of them may have been the parent of the black-faced youngster climbing down the rock.
We came across this colony in the early fall beside the Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier. You can see how chubby even the youngsters are at this time of the year as they prepare to hibernate through the long winter on the mountain. Despite being wrapped in waddling clothes, the marmots move with surprising speed when they want to, bursting across the talus fields with a speed that belies their bellies.
For over four years I photographed many mammals with my Canon 20D: from the humans, cats, and dogs of our home to the deer, elk, and bears that share my hiking trails. And always the furry little critters that run underfoot: chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, pikas, and marmots.
This marmot on the Skyline Trail was literally the last mammal the camera photographed as the shutter died while I took pictures as it dined on nearby grasses. A moment before it had been preening on these rocks as the fog rolled past.
A saboteur in furry form? Perhaps, but an awfully cute one.