My photographic bucket list – The Marmot

The Yellow-bellied Marmot another subject on my bucket list

Marmot on the look out
Marmot on the look out

I have never written down a bucket list but I do have one or should I say two. Today I found something on one of those lists – a Yellow-bellied Marmot. Some days they seem to get longer as I hear of new subjects that I would like to shoot.  The reason that I have two bucket lists is that one list I try to keep realistic. Items on that list are accessible to me in western Canada, like the Yellow-bellied Marmot. On the second list I have items that are crazier like a lion in Africa, Penguins, Tigers, etc.

Checking one off the list

Today I got to tick off one of my subjects on my bucket list.  Without expecting it I came across a huge colony of Yellow-belly Marmots.  I had heard they were in the area that I was in but never thought that I would see any, let alone so many. I was at the St Mary’s reservoir to go kayaking but the water level was low and I was not able to carry my kayak to the water myself so I got sidetracked when I saw the marmot and forgot completely about kayaking as I saw more and more.

Marmot checking out the neighbors.
Marmot checking out the neighbors.

Seeing the map of their range I really never expected to see this many as I thought that maybe there would be one or two but there are a lot!!!  A number of years ago I bumped into a photographer from Montana that was in that region looking for a marmot, he was sent there by a Parks Canada employee that said they were there.  I thought he was being led astray as I had been there a lot and had not spotted any.

Time for a bath
Time for a bath

Jackpot!!!

Today when I pulled up I immediately saw a marmot then two marmots and I was so happy. I was in the big van so I got a good location powered down the windows and started shooting. The nice thing about the big van is that I have everything within reach; cameras, lenses, food, water, bathroom and room to stretch without getting out.  After about 30 minutes shooting I went for a short walk and saw many holes hidden by the tall grass.  The marmots that I was photographing had disappeared so I went for a drive and BINGO more marmots.  In total I found at least  5 marmots at different locations within a kilometer of the first one.  It was late morning so I don’t know if other ones were in the burrows or if this is all in that area.

Marmot lunch break
Marmot lunch break

I have to say that even without getting the kayak in the water it was a great day!!

For more nature prints visit my gallery.

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