Exploring the Earth and Sky of the West

Pile o’ Marmots

I could probably write a full-length entry about marmots if I really tried. After all, I did write entire essays on chocolate chip cookie recipes and the Twilight saga for English class last semester. But that really doesn’t sound like the way I want to spend the next hour and a half of my life. I would much rather spend that time sleeping instead which is sort of appropriate since marmots supposedly spend a lot of time doing that too. So instead I will simply give you these pictures of some plump Yellow-bellied Marmots proudly standing watch over their burrows in the San Juan Mountains. And also tell you that a common nickname for the marmot is “whistle pig”  due to the loud whistle the creature emits to alert nearby marmots when it feels threatened. So far I have failed in unearthing the origin of the “pig” part of this nickname, given that marmots are actually most closely related to ground squirrels and bear about as much resemblance to a pig as I do (I realize that this is making a rather bold statement about my personal appearance, if you disagree for some reason, feel free to discuss in the comments).

I didn’t even see the two below until after I had taken the picture. Only a fool would attack a burrow being defended by three of these vicious and intimidating rodents.

Another marmot doing its best to blend in with the lichen…

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