My photographic bucket list – Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Check off The Yellow-bellied Marmot

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 the list seems to get longer. I hear of new subjects that I would like to shoot some get added to my bucket list. 

Yes I said I have lists, not just one bucket list but two.

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. Things 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. Instead I got sidetracked when I saw the marmots and forgot completely about kayaking as I saw more and more.

Marmot checking out the neighbors. Yellow-Bellied Marmot
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.  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, St. Marys Dam, Yellow-Bellied Marmot
Time for a bath

Yellow-Bellied Marmot 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 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!!

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