Top 12 Most Memorable Encounters
Coming off a spectacularly lucky (photographically) year, 2017 was a no good, awful, downright miserable stretch of bad luck. Though we spent more time in the field than ever, we captured content only about 10% of the time we set out to look for wildlife. Yet for all the bad luck, we had some incredible moments – and, based on our last two forays into the Rockies, our luck also seems to be changing. Here’s hoping 2018 is the best year yet.
Year of the Marten
Okay, once again we’re going to cheat a little. This isn’t a moment or a singular encounter, but rather a string of encounters that underscored the theme of the year: Martens. As long-time followers know, martens were our bugaboo for years, before we finally broke the curse, thanks to former colleague and good friend Kerrie Blaise – an environmental lawyer and conservation champion from Ontario – helping us fall in love with winter and guiding us to a better understanding of how to track the creatures in the backcountry. This information proved invaluable in actually capturing images of the more-common-than-you-think-but-hard-to-photograph mustelid and when we moved west, we were equipped with a strong understanding of where to look for the critters.
Alas, even good knowledge is only going to equate to so many sightings and never in our wildest dreams did we think we would find 40 different martens. In fact, we saw more martens than grizzlies in 2017.
Martens interacting? Check.
Young martens? Check.
Sleeping martens? Check.
Hunting martens? Check.
Prolonged encounters? Check.
We were even able to help two good friends spot a marten nearly on demand when they joined us in the field. I don’t expect we’ll have another year quite like this one, but we were grateful to observe and document the elusive and fierce tree-jumpers and feel that we’re better prepared than ever before to tell their fascinating tale.