GETTING IN TOUCH WITH NATURE: Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves
of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." ~ Rachel Carson
I put a red dish towel as a backdrop when photographing to create this montage.
Chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels and
a Clark's Nutcracker all figuring out how to share in the feast.
This yellow bellied marmot is a type of ground squirrel in Colorado that hibernates up to 8 months out of the year and their body temperature drops to as low as 5 degrees C. They are being studied because their aging process seems to be suspended during hibernation.
In 2003, marmots were on the critically endangered list on Vancouver Island in British Columbia where there were only around 30 marmots remaining in the wild. After a successful rehabilitation program reintroduced them, there are now around 200 thriving in the wild.
"By introducing the captive-bred marmots into an existing marmot colony, the scientists could get them the education they would need at the hands of marmots who had lived their lives in the wild. The tough, wild-born marmots would teach their softer cousins the ways of the mountainside. After a year, the graduating students would be transplanted to a new site to repopulate abandoned or struggling colonies." (source)