Cooperative for a Marmot

Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

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Artist's Description

I finally have access to my alpine critters – and after a long, unproductive winter, I’m more than ready to see them again.

So far, though, I haven’t seen any pikas, and only a few marmots. Granted, it’s still very early in the season, but I’m achin’ to see more.

This is a fairly young marmot – I’m guessing between 1 and 2 years old. Like people, the older they get, the more gray fur they develop on their faces.

For a marmot, she was a fairly cooperative model (nothing personal, Krys). She didn’t give me a lot of poses, but she liked the light and didn’t mind me hanging around for a minute.

Standard Marmot Boilerplate
Most marmots tend to behave in one of two ways when they see a person:

1. They whistle/hoot/squeak loudly, then bolt and run, and they do this funny little tail-helicopter thing while running. They also make this hooting noise as they run – at least it sounds like hooting (but honestly, in my head I hear Nya-aaa-aa, wooob-woob-woob-woob).
2. They stop and check you out. I don’t think they have binocular vision, so they tend to turn from side to side and eye-ball you with each eye. Sometimes they do some cute posing in the process.

Marmots are considered to be one of the few altruistic species on this planet – they selflessly keep themselves in danger to warn others of potential danger.

Marmots are an at risk species due to climate change. Because summers in the mountains are so brief, they try to eat and gain as much weight as possible for the long winter hibernation.

Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
Mt Evans Wilderness Area, CO
Sony a580
70-400mm
Bean bag
ISO200, 1/500sec, f/10, 400mm

Shot in RAW, processed in Lightroom 3

You can find more images on my web site

Artwork Comments

  • Ray Clarke
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  • Jay Ryser
  • Karen Karl
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  • glennc70000
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