Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

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Fall is in full swing above tree line – the tundra is red and a vibrant yellow-green. The temps are in the 30’s and the wind is brutal. The last few times I went up, I bailed after less than an hour, just because, despite being dressed well for the weather, I was still uncomfortable. Plus, most of my alpine animals had better sense than to be out. On my last visit, I saw a pika very briefly, and the reason he disappeared was a big short-tailed weasel came scrambling through his section of the talus. The weasel was so fast, I couldn’t get an image. In fact, in my last 3 visits, I made no images.

This is an image from the late Summer moving into Fall. The temps are dropping and the wind isn’t too bad yet. This seems to be the communal lounging rock for the marmots. It faces East and warms up quickly, and is a favorite location on cool mornings. I spent most of the Summer hanging out with this family of marmots at 13,000ft, and as long as I behave myself, they don’t seem to mind me hanging out with them.

This adult was lounging on the warm, sunny rock only a few feet away from me, and was unconcerned with my presence to the point that he took a brief nap.

Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
Mt Evans Wilderness Area, CO, USA
Sony a77
70-400mm G
210mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO 200, +2/3EV

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