Yellowstone Reports

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Third Annual YA Pika class

Unexpected Visitor
by Dan Hartman

Sept. 22, 2014

     We just finished our third pika class for Yellowstone Association.  Of the ten grass piles we've recorded observations on, four have been active all three years.  For the most part, gathering foliage for their hay stacks was seen but was not a priority.  It appeared the stacks were already sufficiently filled.  I wonder if the cool wet August got them started early this year.

     One of the highlights occurred on our first day when a marten suddenly appeared.  For a few minutes it slipped in and out of the rocks before vanishing over the ridge.

     At grass pile #1 pika chasing pika was observed as the resident defended its territory against intruders.

     On the second day we spent the afternoon in the Beartooths but the wind was too severe to even get out of the bus.

     I guess this would be a good time to give an update on "Stranded", my book on species effected by climate change with pika being the main character.

     Our publisher, Walker Books, was dissolved by their parent company, Bloomsbury, with Bloomsbury then inherited my contract.  They did honor the contract and pay Dorothy (the author) and I, but then decided not to publish.  The project then moved on to Crown Books, but was turned down.  It is now at at third publisher.

     I'll let you know when it is accepted.


View slide show

Pika Carrying Raspberry Stalk

Pika Stake Out

Mary Checking Out Grass Pile

Unexpected Visitor (marten)

Pika At Grass Pile

Study Area

Our Class