Saturday, January 19, 2008

The neighbors

Thanks to forensic evidence (O.K., scat), I now know two more species that frequent or live on the nearest hill.
The black-tailed deer, a smaller sub-species of Rocky Mountain mule deer, are so named for the black fur that runs the length of their tails.
I suspect mostly females are feeding there at present. Fully grown, they weigh about 120 pounds and can clear eight-foot jumps.
Meanwhile, numerous burrows are home to hibernating yellow-bellied marmots, a type of large ground squirrel.

Social creatures, they live in colonies that may cover up to 6 acres of rocky outcroppings. Locals call them rock chucks.
But they're also known as whistle pigs. When they sense predators in the area, they warn one another with short, shrill chirps.
And to think, for the longest time, I could have sworn I was hearing bird calls.
Photos, left to right:; virtual dirt time

No comments: