Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Russell Jurgensen
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Marmots along with Pikas are favorite friends while hiking in the mountains. They seem to be inquisitive and friendly while keeping their distance. However, Marmots can cause trouble for campers by getting into their food. So that is one good reason to hang food bags out of reach at night and when away from camp. One time someone in our group hung their bag right over their tent on a tight line. This tight line had one end of rope tied to a tree branch and the other end tied to a log on the ground at an angle. The food hung halfway between, right over the tent. A marmot managed to climb up the rope to the bag, much to the annoyance of the people sleeping in the tent. Another time everyone in our group hung their bags straight down from branches. A marmot didn’t get a food bag, but it snagged someone’s garbage bag that wasn’t properly hung. The poor marmot had a whole group of campers following it through the bushes, coaxing it gently, until it finally dropped the bag. Life is not easy for a marmot!

This particular marmot in the image was peeking out of a tunnel at Mount Rainier. I can imagine that right now the tunnels are covered in snow and this little guy is living off the vegetation it collected during the summer.

We are kind of like the marmots trying to make do with the environment we are presented with. Sometimes we make mistakes and get into trouble. Sometimes, like the marmot, it is not our own fault. It is comforting that God watches over us. Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7