Dorothy, the author for our book Stranded, arrived today. I was anxious to get her up into the Beartooths so she could get a feel for alpine country.
We climbed into the rocky locations I'd been working lately. A few pika were out but nothing special. We moved on to another spot. Along the way I showed her the tragic state of our white bark pine stands.
As we approached West Summit, I spotted goats silhouetted on the cliffs. Moving quickly, we parked and gained elevation to secure good backgrounds for the herd. For the next hour we photographed and watched the nannies and kids jocky for position in the rocks. Finally, the herd moved down across the saddle to climb a far slope, pausing to feed for awhile on watermellon snow.
Now, I had always heard the red algae was poisonous???
The goats finally disappearing over a far ridge, we moved down into the rocks in search of pika. We had just gotten into position when a baby appeared almost at our feet. I guess the second litter is out! Above us an adult gathered grasses for his haystack. Once, when he disappeared for awhile downslope, another pika stole in to pilfer some of his cut grass, carrying it just past our feet.
I had always suspected this occurred, but had never actually observed the event. I'm glad Dorothy was present to witness the thievery.
Our male marten who had returned after being gone for two years, was killed crossing the highway four miles from our cabin. I found him a dawn on my way to the Beartooths. I was surprised how heavy he was when I moved him off into the trees.
That leaves a young male and a three month old still frequenting our area. Our female hasn't been seen for some time.