STOCK-Winter's Approaching

Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

Artist's Description

This is Larry the Pika – I’ve mentioned him several times before. The last bout of rainy weather in Denver was snowy weather up on Mt Evans. Winter is fast approaching the high country, and Larry is stocking up.
I saw Larry out gathering food and decided to snap a few pics. I had to carry a heavy camera/lens/tripod combo out in the talus field, precariously balancing every step on uneven rocks. As i was setting up, Larry was perched on a rock about 20ft away. Since he’s so small, I decided to pop on the x1.4TC. I looked up to search for Larry and couldn’t find him anywhere – until I peeked away from the view finder and found he was perched on a rock about 2 feet away at eye level. As soon as we made eye contact, he let out a shrill “EENK!!” and ran away.
I couldn’t help think I was playing Wile E. Coyote to his Roadrunner.
Pikas don’t hibernate – they’re awake all winter in their dens under the snow and talus. To survive the winter, they spend their brief summer gathering grasses and plants and dry them in the sun like tiny hay bales, and then store them to last them the winter. if they don’t dry and store enough, they don’t survive.
The pikas can frequently have disputes over who the hay bales belong to and get into spats over ownership. These spats are sometimes exploited by opportunistic predators.
Pikas are an at risk species due to climate change.
Mt Evans Wilderness Area
I have many more wildlife photos on my MAIN WEB SITE
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Artwork Comments

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