Let me tear you away from the slopes and Silver Lakes of Mount St. Helens for just a moment here, and take you back in time to the previous trip, when B and I headed to the dry side. We saw some pretty super-awesome things on that journey. One of them was barely visible. I’d never have noticed it, but B’s brain is really good with the something’s-not-like-the-others game. Let’s see if you can spot it.
C wut evolution did thar? No? Okay, I’ll give you some hints: look up to the right of the big bush at the top left. See that thing that looks like a marmot sticking its head over the hill? Yeah, that’s not it, that’s a rock. Look in front of that rock, and you’ll see a gray and rusty-brown little bugger lying flat and doing an A+ job of blending in with its surroundings.
We’d just finished our initial hike around Frenchman Coulee, and were getting ready to head up-Coulee to the Feathers, when B pointed out this awesome little animal on the hillside. At first, I couldn’t see it for anything – in fact, I think I took that first photo blind, just hoping I was in the right general area. Then it seemed to realize we were talking about it, and raised its head.
And lo, I was instantly smitten, because it is a cute and fluffy wild animal.
I don’t think it would ever be interested in being hugged and squeezed and petted and loved and called George, though. In fact, in this next shot, it looks like it’s seriously contemplating a rapid exit, although B and I weren’t anywhere close to it and weren’t trying to climb the hill to see it better.
Timid wee beastie, that. If it’s the same as many others we saw on the trip, this seems to be a species trait. All of them were pretty skittish any time they saw a people.
After a moment, our beastie decided it wasn’t comfortable sunning itself where people could see it, and got up. It checked out the area one more time before it fled.
OMG it is darling!
So, I have two questions for you, my darlings: what is it, and what shall we call it?
Oh, and for those who are wondering what the Feathers are, here they are:
Such a lovely stand of basalt columns, left standing single-file by the erosive power of the Missoula Floods! Damn it, now I want to go back there and do all the geology – but gotta work on Mount St. Helens first. Sigh.