Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Visit: Heard a Marmot, Saw a Marmot

Late on Thursday afternoon we drove up onto Hurricane Ridge and then out the dirt road to Obstruction Point and headed up the trail along Lillian Ridge. Almost right away we heard a marmot whistling, right where all the trail books say to watch for marmots. We looked and looked, and finally spotted him, sunning on a rock on the far side of the hollow. He/she was just hanging out on a rock, whistling.

Where the marmot was, elevation 6100' on Lillian Ridge

We hiked along the trail to the next little rise, and then another, one eye on the time because we had a long way to go to get back to town before dark. There were not so many flowers. The sun got lower in the sky, the light more lavish. When we came back the marmot was quiet, but still on his rock. With the sun behind him he cast a tiny far-away shadow on the bit of meadow below. We enjoyed the idea that he spends most of his time looking at the world from his rock, except when he goes in his burrow, which we imagined must be right there under the rock

The View from a bit further on and higher up

PS The revision of the Park website has caused their photo of an Olympic Marmot to vanish. Here it is, as retrieved from the Wayback Machine.

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