Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Small mammal

Alan and I took a grand trip all over E. Washington. Maybe he will let me copy his post or link to it. We saw a fair number of birds. We also saw a mammal, which we are now debating the identification.

It's funny, because we've had a debate before. I say we saw a muskrat at ... hmm... it's on Lake Washington, I wish I was better with place names, near UW. Anyway, he says it's a beaver. I didn't see a big flat tail. He says he did. I think beavers would be unlikely there. But (shhh, don't tell Alan this) I could be wrong. I think he is more convinced it was a beaver than I am it was a muskrat.

But this time, I am convinced we did not see a weasel. Yes, it was long and ran somewhat bouncy, but it didn't move like a weasel. It was too big. But then what was it? I strongly suspect it was a yellow-bellied marmot. Or maybe it was the Columbian ground squirrel, I'm still going with marmot though.

What I saw very clearly was the hind end. I was long, but chunky with a moderately bushy tail (no black tip). It had yellow under the tail. It bounced but didn't prance (that's how I think of weasels movement). It wasn't fat like you'd expect a marmot to be, but wasn't super thin either.

Anyway... I have now spent entirely too much time looking at this site: Mammals of Washington. For most mammals it was a good refresher from college, but I think much of the whale info was new. I will have to spend more time when it isn't so very late.


Blogger Alan said...

There was another picture of a beaver in that area in the newspaper the other day. Second time since we saw it.

Here's my Blog entry on the 5/32 trip at

10:22 PM  
Blogger Herman said...

well.... I never saw a big flat tail, but in retrospect that could be a height issue. Your great elevation may have helped you see something... sooo, I'm saying "Maybe" it was a beaver. hmpf!

thanks for posting the link to your blog. That trip was way cool too

10:36 PM  

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