Observation tower

There was this observation tower at a high point on the road I was on (Route 130) and I spent a good portion of the late morning there.  It not only afforded a great 360 panorama of the area but also gave me the chance to finally get some marmot photos!

IMG_20170814_093302026_HDR

A marmot is a large squirrel.  It looks like a small groundhog.  It’s nickname is rockchuck (like woodchuck, but with rock) because they like to live in rock clusters.  I saw one the day before while I was still in Idaho but got better pictures of this one.  The one I saw in Idaho was a yellow-bellied marmot, thank you very much.  It was more slender and a darker brown than this garden variety marmot.

When I arrived at the tower there wasn’t anyone there.  When I went up the steps to the viewing area and walked to the south edge, there was a marmot, not 10 feet away.  Well, he scurried into hiding before I could get my camera ready.  I then walked to the west edge and damned if there wasn’t another one 10 feet away and he scampered off too.  These photos were taken (with zoom) after they re-emerged down the hill and were scouting for food (or keeping watch for predators).

People kept coming and going so they never came back out up high.  There was another animal I was hoping to finally get a photo of while at this spot but it remains elusive.

 

IMG_1966

IMG_1974

IMG_1981