Living the middle of a national forest in the Rockies means that there is more wildlife in and around my house than you might expect. Here a few of the regular visitors.
First, here is a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) that moved in when the snowpack was still melting. It found a supply of packing materials and would regularly rock-climb over the stone backing to the wood stove to bring supplies back to its nest. I had no idea that mice were such good climbers.
Second, here is a predator that likely solved my mouse problem a few weeks later. This fox (Vulpes vulpes) has a family of five kits, and regularly passes by my cabin at all hours of the day, usually with several dead rodents in its mouth.
And third, here is a rodent large enough to not be seriously concerned about fox predation – a golden marmot (Marmota flaviventris). This one lives under the cabin across from mine and has a fondness for eating dandelions (Taraxacum spp.).
No mountain lion sightings yet, but plenty of scat in the mountains – it is a wonderful feeling to know that there is so much life all around our small human existences.