Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


Larry's blog

Swivel Ears

Mule Deer Fawn - Photo by Larry Halverson

One of the Mule Deer’s most distinct features is its big "mule-like" ears. Each ear rotates independently like a scanning radar.  Read more »

Cone Skeletons


Red Squirrel striping a Spruce Cone and eating the seeds - Photo by Larry Halverson

Douglas Fir Cone and Cone "Sleketon" - Photo by Larry Halverson

This time of year Red Squirrels are busy cutting coniferous cones to store and eat. It doesn't take them long to strip the cone bracts and extract the numerous seeds from each cone with their teeth. Read more »

A Wild Day

Click on the picture to see the Video by Parks Canada Agency

24 hours isn't a lot of time. You know the drill: get some sleep, grab a bite, work 8 hours, squeeze in lunch and dinner, walk the dog and go for a bike ride or watch TV if there's any time left.

Read more »

Marmots at Stanley Glacier


Marmot family group from 2011 - Photo by Alan Dibb

Last summer Kootenay’s Wildlife Specialist, Alan Dibb saw many marmots at the head of the Stanley Glacier Valley near the end of the trail, including two family groups.  This year, on several visits, he hasn't seen or heard any, and he didn’t even find any marmot sign at the location of the 2011 family groups.  Read more »

Doesn’t Get Any Cuter

Baby pika at Lake O’Hara - photo by Charlotte Dibb

You can tell that this is a young pika by it’s smooth and babyish looking fur, compared to the rougher looking coats of the adults. It is also about half the size of a full grown pika which is pretty small when you think that adults are only 7 inches (18 cm) long and about 3 inches (8 cm) high.  Read more »

Drying Preserves

 Red Squirrels dry mushrooms on sun-soaked branched before storing them.
 Photo by Larry Halverson


This time of year red squirrels are busy collecting and storing food from early morning until dusk. One well-known trait is their love for Douglas fir cones, but they actually eat a wide variety of other foods, including bark, tree buds, berries and even mushrooms. Read more »

White-tailed Ptarmigan


 White-tailed Ptarmigan a truly alpine bird - Photo by Linnea Halverson

This master of disguise is all but invisible as its mottled plumage blends in with the surrounding rocks. The bird itself seems well aware of the efficacy of its camouflage for it is reluctant to flush when approached, as seen in this video of a ptarmigan taken on  Mount Kindersley in Kootenay National Park.  In fact people have nearly stepped on ptarmigan without seeing them.  Read more »

Tadpole Metamorphosis

         Columbia Spotted Frog Tadpole - Photo July 27, 2012 by Larry Halverson

For the last couple of weeks Columbia Spotted Frog tadpoles are changing (metamorphosis) into frogs. You can see the fully developed hind legs in this photo. The front legs develop inside the tadpole’s body and do not become visible until they pop out fully formed. This tadpole had also lost it’s gills and was seen swimming to the surface to suck in air. The tail is the last to disappear as it is reabsorbed into the body.  Read more »

Sheep in Town

This Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep seemed to be giving his better side for picture taking. 
Photo by Larry Halverson Read more »

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel


Born in June Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel pups grow quickly - Photo by Alan Dibb Read more »

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