Snow falling on Aspens (and
pines and firs and...)

January 27, 2007
Todd and I took a drive up into the mountains on Saturday. They weren't calling for snow
but as soon as we got up to about 7,000' snow began to fall. We walked around the
beautiful meadow near Quaking Aspen Campground and took photos. Then we drove up to
the end of the road, at least to where the end is in wintertime, near the Ponderosa
Lodge. Then we turned around and by chance I decided to drive up the North Road just to
see how far it had been plowed. Not very far, we found out, so I turned around and
started back towards the highway and suddenly stopped... A pine marten poked his head
above a hole in the snow, paused and looked at us, then scampered across the road! It's
only the 2nd time I've ever seen one of these elusive animals before  They're so cute!

Anyway, I wasn't quick enough to get a photo of the marten, but scroll down to see a
photo of his (or her) tracks...

The only other time I saw one was on my first Sierra backpacking trip. Back in the
summer of 1999 I hiked with a couple of fellow rangers from
Giant Forest to Mineral
King
in Sequoia NP. The first night while camping at Bearpaw I saw a marmot (the marmot
who lived behind the bear box) chase off a pine marten. That marmot was very
smart
(snatching food whenever it could from people putting food into or taking it out of the
bear box) and he wasn't letting anyone move into his territory, lol