Natures Whistler


If you’ve ever hiked near a high mountain talus slope, you may have heard the high pitched whistle of the Yellow-bellied Marmot or Rock Chuck as it’s called here in the west.  It makes its home by burrowing beneath the boulders and whistles as a warning to the rest of the colony when danger approaches.


Spring Time in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho

The winter of 2016-2017 in the Bitterroot Mountains was a lot harder on wildlife than first thought.img_8468

Close to record snowfall made foraging for food tough for some animals.


The first signs of spring in 2017 showed that some, like this white tail doe barely survived starvation.


However, with spring comes the birth of new life and it seemed to come on with a vengeance.

Cdy00026Elk calves were numerous and were always looking for a quick meal.

Cdy00031 Mothers were always accommodating.  Elk calves, on the average must gain over 4 pounds per day before weaning and the largest proportion of this weight gain is from its mothers milk.


Even the deer are showing promising signs of a come back.



In the spring, what mothers have to watch out for is the predator and in this case the black bear, who is always in pursuit of deer fawns and elk calves.


The bears keen sense of smell will keep him close to his prey.


During the first few weeks of an elk calf or fawn’s life, when left alone will lie flat and motionless as an ancestral defensive strategy from danger.


I am blessed to be able to experience these adventures and share these amazing photographs.