King of the Mountain

Cute and impressive at the same time, the marmots always attract attention.

1.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

He reminds me of one of our cats – the monorail kitteh :)

Don’t you envy that ability to relax and enjoy himself?:
2.

3.

4.

5.

The Lion Marmot King:
6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Looking at sunbathing, hardly moving marmots you might think they are slow. Not quite so. They can be fast and agile if they choose to:
11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

The marmots hibernate more than half a year. They survive a very long winter on fat reserves and emerge from hibernation slimmed down considerably. In summer they have to regain all this lost fat. So if not sunbathing most likely you’ll see them munching on the flowers and grass. Here, she’s eating lupine pods:
16.

And flowers:
17.

Marking a territory by rubbing their cheeks on the rocks is one of many ways to communicate:
18.

19.

20.

Snow, flowers and marmots – the beauty of Mount Rainier in Summer:
21.

22.

23.

Another way to communicate is famous marmot whistle. The way they do it, though, came as a surprise to me. Maybe I didn’t wait them to fold their lips as we, humans, do, but surely I didn’t think they open their mouths as if to roar!:
24.

25.

26.

These teeth deserve to be bragged about, don’t you agree?:
27.

28.

It didn’t take long to find who he was exchanging whistles with. A sentry was above, on a lookout:
29.

30.

There’s another pair exchanging whistles:
31.

The blurry silhouette of the first one is in the lower right corner and his partner is in the middle of the photo, on the huge boulder:
32.

I tried to make a video with my camera but it came out too shaky. So I put a few pictures and a sound together:

Now, the next photo shows a few important things at a time.

First of all, if you’ve never seen a marmot you probably don’t know how big they are.
Secondly, you can see how tame these cute animals of Mount Rainier are.
And thirdly, if there’re signs asking to not step of the path and to not approach wildlife, all around the place… well, people don’t like to read them.

33.

You might not see it well on the picture above but there’s a burrow right there, to the left of the hikers. The burrow owner patiently posed and waited for the group to leave, after which he returned to work:
34.

35.

He worked hard for 2 minutes :)

Unfortunately my phone couldn’t get all the snorting and grunting sounds that came out of the burrow.

All covered with soil he doesn’t look dirty:
36.

This one is just a kid, smaller than a cat:
37.

A beauty, isn’t she?:
38.

Hoary Marmots (Marmota caligata) of Mount Rainier

King of the Mountain

One thought on “King of the Mountain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s