Monday, April 24, 2017

Marmot amour

Our Spring work (which often gets snowed out...which is why I'm writing now) is about trying to figure out when marmots emerge (most are still in deep torpor), who survived hibernation, and, if we're really lucky, who is mating with whom.  While introducing Jazmine to the River areas and looking for marmots there, we witnessed a very amorous morning between two survivors. 

A (the male) and I (the female) repeatedly mated on a tiny ledge that was hardly bigger than both of them on a shaley cliff...which was the entrance to their burrow.  Had this not been so compatible, someone would have ended up in the river.  And not all marmot pairings are compatible; just Saturday I watched a male (bowtie) try to mate with two females at a snow-covered Picnic colony and each attempt ended with snarls and bowtie jumping back.  A and I, by contrast, were quite gentle and the matings were outside the burrow and didn't have a lot of obvious foreplay (just greetings and a lot of sitting together). 

Fun stuff! Which will have to tide us over for a few days since a big spring storm has just arrived.

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