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The Sentinel

The Sentinel
Photo Information
Copyright: Valerie FOSSE (valy67) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-09-16
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 350D, Canon EF 55-200mm 4.5-5.6 II USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Six days in the French Alps
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite wild animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-26 22:32
Viewed: 4562
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken on the same day at my previous mountain-shots (the lake day). It was at the end of the day, just before going down in the valley. We were waiting around the station for the cable car to take us down, and we met two very friendly Marmots rummaging in the grass. They weren't really shy, I guess they are used to seeing tourists like us.

I have pictures were we see both the marmots closer, in the grass ; but I liked this picture better, because I love its pose here, standing on the rock as if making watch while the other one was still eating. I also like the two typical mountain flowers in front of and behind the marmot.

We had seen many many Marmots during our hike to the lakes, but I only took pictures of them when the day was almost over (when I was sure there would be no more Ibex to takes pictures of, because my CF card was almost full). They seem to be very common. Usually they are well-camouflaged, both on the rock and in the grass, and you only see them when they start running away from you.

The Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota) is a species of marmot found in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe. Alpine Marmots live at heights between 800 and 3,200 metres, in the Alps, Carpathians, Tatras, the Pyrenees and Northern Apennines Italy.

Alpine Marmots eat plants such as grasses and herbs, as well as grain, insects, spiders and worms. They prefer young and tender plants over any other kind, and hold food in their forepaws while eating. They mainly emerge from their burrows to engage in feeding during the morning and afternoon, as they are not well suited to heat, which may result in them not feeding at all on very warm days. When the weather is suitable, they will consume large amounts of food in order to create a layer of fat on their body, enabling them to survive their long hibernation period.

As the summer begins to end, Alpine Marmots will gather old stems in their burrows in order to serve as bedding for their impending hibernation, which can start as early as October. They seal the burrow with a combination of earth and their own faeces. Once winter arrives, the Alpine Marmots will huddle next to each other, and begin hibernation, a process which lowers their heart rate down to five beats per minute, and breathing down to 1–3 breaths per minute, which uses up their stored fat supplies as slowly as possible. Their body temperatures will drop to almost the same as the air around them, although their heart rate and breathing will speed up if they approach freezing point. Some Alpine Marmots will starve to death despite this, due to their layer of fat running out. This is most likely to happen in the younger Alpine Marmots than the older ones.

Although not currently in any danger of extinction, Alpine Marmots used to be widely hunted due to the belief that their fat would ease rheumatism when rubbed on the skin. However, hunting of the Alpine Marmot still occurs for sport purposes. This is a danger to the animal, as they are relatively slow at breeding

maurydv, ferranjlloret, nasokoun, CeltickRanger, goldyrs, horias, xTauruSx, oanaotilia, Dis. Ac., bahadir, zulfu, boreocypriensis, Mikolaj, Argus, Noisette, tuslaw, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To zulfu: Hello Mehmet !valy67 1 09-27 23:12
To bahadir: Hello Bahadir !valy67 1 09-27 23:11
To xTauruSx: Hello Deniz !valy67 1 09-27 23:03
To pivoinerouge: Arrière-planvaly67 1 09-27 22:28
To ferranjlloret: Photo rougeâtrevaly67 1 09-27 22:23
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Valerie,
très belle photo de marmotte, magnifique composition avec les fleurs et le petit animal qui monte la sentinelle, délicates et naturelles couleurs.
Merci et félicitations
Bonne journée

Hi Valerie,
Une capture excellente de de celle-ci marmota entre Epilobium. Bon point vue et composition. Se peut qui la photo a une tonalité rougeâtre ?
Salutacions cordials. Ferran.

Bonjour Valérie,
Chez nous, on ne trouve pas de marmotte. Ta photo est bien réussie, même si l'arrière-plan me paraît moins joli avec cette tonalité.
Bon dimanche.

hello Valerie
beautiful scene, your very good composition presents very well this splendid creature of mountains!
TFS thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-09-27 1:03]

Hello Valérie,
Very nice photo of this marmot in a beautiful environment. Great choice of composition. Very nice warm colours and DOF.

Hi Valerie,
Great capture of this Marmot in natural settings. Lovely presentation and very nice and appropriate title.

Ciao Vaòlerie, lovely composition with cute creature, fantastic natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

bonjour Valérie

une excellente et belle photo de cette Marmotte des Alpes,
excellent POV et j'aime le cadrage vertical que tu as donné
qui se prête merveilleusement bien à l'image, excellent focus
netteté et détails, j'aime les tons de couleur et la lumière chaude,



  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-09-27 10:13]

Loveli capture, wonderful details and colors.

Hello Valerie,
Excellent shot of this cute marmot from nice viewpoint.
Details and composition great.
TFS and greetings,

Hy Valerie
You know something, your picture for me seems sweet. Why? Because it was a comercial at cocolate (Milka) with some marmotsin a cocolate factory. You captured it very well, in his natural environment, not in the cocolate factory. TFS.
All the best, Oana

Helo Valerie,

what a very nice pic you are showing us today.
Good pov and dof with fine natural colours.


  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2009-09-27 11:58]

Hi Valerie
great compo!

Hello Valerie, lovely shot of a cute little animal with nice composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-09-27 13:59]
  • [+]

Hello valerie,
Perfect shot of this beautiful and cute Alpine Marmot.
Composition is perfect.
TFS and G's,

Salut Valérie,
Voilà une marmotte dans son attitude typique. Très belle composition, avec de splendides couleurs. La netteté n'est pas irréprochable, mais la composition originale compense bien. Il ne manque que le son, ces sifflements si agréables à entendre! Amicalement,

Bonjour Mademoiselle Valerie,

A nice little beaut perfectly captured: great details, nice colours and BG, beautiful composition!
Have a nice night my friend!


Hello Valerie! Nice scene, very nice light and bright, good exposure, very good capture and frame. Well done!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-09-28 2:50]

Hi Valerie,
besides the pretty face of the creature you have composed the shot very dramatically. The rocks give a good effect and the slightly blurred background reveals the beauty of the surrounding.
well composed in excellet execution of skills.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-28 7:01]

Hello Valérie,
I have seen Alpine Marmots several times but have never been able to take a close shot of one. Not as close as this anyway.
This is a fine capture, well composed with some of the habitat in the BG and the two almost over-flowered Willow herb flowers on either side.
Nice one and thanks for sharing it.
Have a good week,

Salut Val
une autre grande rencontre de tes Vacances à Chamonix, elle a l'air si paisible sur son rocher, j'aime les couleurs de l' environnement narturel, la composition est superbe avec les deux fleurs de chaque côté de la marmotte

hello Valerie
very nice composition with many details of the place
great colours and good sharpnes
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-10-04 17:33]

Another great shot Valerie,
I have only seen one Marmot in my life, and that was when Rosie and I visited Yellowstone back in 2000. We have a lot of groundhogs around here, but no Marmots unfortunately.
Again you have composed your shot with expertise while capturing wonderful detail and gorgeous colors!!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-01-23 2:42]

Hi Valerie.
Pictured scene is simply amazing. I like how well you have reflected a very attractive surroundings. It gives some charm to all scene. The cute animal is looked very nicely at the left lower corner of the frame. My compliments and best wishes.

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