Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A marmot about Town

As much as I joke about “becoming one with the marmots” when I’ve been working with in the field for months on end, I don’t actually identify most of the individuals by looks alone. An exception to that general rule was “3”, so called because of the mark we put on her back. This particular marmot lives in Gothic itself (the specific location of the RMBL and the site we call Town).

Posing alertly by one of the cow skulls commonly decorating the cabins at RMBL (All photos: Tina W. Wey).

Choosing a comfortable spot to nurse her pups.

Perhaps it’s her rich dark gray/brown fur and prominent white nose bar. Perhaps it’s her curious gaze and prominent buck teeth that are always poking out. Or perhaps it’s her “special” behavior and affinity for the cabins (she once decided to wander right in through an open door and check one out for herself, much to the shock of the researcher inside). For whatever reason, I find her a real charmer. Fat, fluffy, and curious – yes, she's quite the marmot about Town!

Looking fat and fluffy even in the spring. Actually, that's mostly fur, as the marmots are usually very thin when they first emerge and spend the summer packing on the pounds for the coming winter.

Late summer, looking about ready to roll off the cabin steps! Now she probably is as round as she looks.

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