Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Colorado is full of marmots! We saw the big fellows everywhere! (They are the size of large house cats.)

Out West, the name marmot refers to a large ground squirrel. In the East, it is an appropriate name for groundhogs, also called woodchucks. Marmots are found around the globe, especially in mountainous areas. I read that in 2010, Alaska  changed Groundhog Day to Marmot Day to recognize the number of marmots in the state.

Here is one on the very top of Mt. Evans-- 14,240 feet above sea level. Marmots bask to build brown fat that protects them from long and severely cold winters.

The fields around the Snow Mountain Ranch were full of their burrows.

Take a look in the window of the old building.

They were on the tundra in the alpine areas. Marmots are mostly vegetarian.

This one was unconcerned by all the attention it was getting.

The same one as above was on a ledge, licking the rock below us. We assume it was to obtain minerals.

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