Thursday, September 9, 2010

Olympic marmot

We spent our holiday weekend on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State, and had an awesome trip filled with great views and interesting wildlife! One of the highlights off of my rather lengthy wish-list for this too short trip was to see the Olympic marmot, which is an endemic species to the peninsula. We found this wonderful specimen sunning itself along the trail in Olympic National Park, near the Obstruction Point area.

Olympic marmot

To give a little perspective on the views these guys enjoy, here's a frame with some of the Olympic range in the backdrop.
Quite a view from this sunning stone

Here's a slightly different take on this pose as well, with the nearer hillside in the backdrop instead. I'm not quite sure which I like better, but I think I'm more drawn to the colors in the top frame.
Chillin' marmot style


  1. What a beautiful set :) Love this !

  2. I prefer the top one Pat. Reminds me of last May in Yellowstone when I was photographing a marmot near Sedge Creek. The marmot turned away from me and started chirping. He was on a little rise and I couldn't see the ground behind him. As I picked up my gear and turned to go back to my truck a black wolf trotted into some trees maybe 30 yards from me. It had crossed a little clearing between me and where my truck was parked. A guy then drove up and said he photographed a white wolf maybe 40 yards from the road. I guess that was the one my marmot was chirping at. Even though the marmot was looking away from me I should have looked in all directions.

  3. Hi Pat,
    I'm not sure either wich one I like best (probably the first one, but it's nice to see the mountains behind this lovely animal).
    Anyway, it's fun to see the marmot resting its head.
    Thanks for sharing, it's the first time I see this animal.

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone! They are such cute animals, and it was really cool to find one relaxing so close to the trail.

    And thanks for sharing your story, Jim! Photographing this marmot was fun, but I'd definitely trade in a future marmot for a chance to get some images of a wolf ;-) That's a good lesson in always trying to stay aware of what's around you though, since you never know what shots you might be missing.