Nothing like sitting on a rock looking out at Alaska and the critters that are a part of it. This time it was the Hoary Marmots that we were watching and enjoying. This spot is a bit more accessible than the mountain slopes we were working on in the arctic. Of course it did require a 2.4 mile hike up to the outcrop and then the same back. When we got up there the marmots behaved like all marmots do. The whistles went off across the ridge and the nearest ones ducked down. We setup on a rock and waited for the little guys to come back out and some of them really were small. This fellow was for sure a kid that we saw bounce around and climb the rocks. Out of the 6 that we photographed he was the most energetic and cooperative. He even went out and grazed for a while.
There was five adults around and three of them would frequently be up on a rock spire that was perfect for sun bathing. It was about 20 feet high and the top was flat, perfect for lying on. This rock was just a haven for them, with tunnels going in and out, separate ledges on multiple levels, and a perfect view for watching the surrounding area for predators. These marmots were great to work with because it gave a bit more perspective to the Alaskan. A big difference that we saw was the affect people just walking through had on them and their tolerance to us. The ones in the Arctic being so excluded from people made them much more shy. It was still great biology to see.
Images captured with D3, 600f4, TC-14e, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film