Creeping Voles Exposed

 Creeping voles are a relatively small species of Microtus, typically found in forests here in the Northwest.

Creeping voles are a relatively small species of Microtus, typically found in forests here in the Northwest.

While scouting for teaching locations for the Wildlife Tracking Intensive at the end of April, Alexia Allen and I spotted a small rodent moving through the leaf litter in a riparian forest close to the Hoh River on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. I quickly reached down and captured the little grey creature who was kind enough to pose for a few photographs!

 Field marks which identify this as a creeping vole include its small size, short tail, and small ears which blend into it fur as well as its forest habitat.

Field marks which identify this as a creeping vole include its small size, short tail, and small ears which blend into it fur as well as its forest habitat.

 Creeping vole (Microtus oregoni)

Creeping vole (Microtus oregoni)

 Alexia Allen carefully handles the vole by its ruff.

Alexia Allen carefully handles the vole by its ruff.

Bears, for a change of pace

 Black Bear feeding on huckleberries. East of Heart Lake, Olympic National Park

Black Bear feeding on huckleberries. East of Heart Lake, Olympic National Park

A few images from a recent trip to the 7 Lakes Basin in Olympic National Park.

 Black bear, Olympic National Park.

Black bear, Olympic National Park.

 Black bear, Olympic National Park.

Black bear, Olympic National Park.

 Darcy Ottey with the Hoh River Valley and Mt. Olympus in the background.

Darcy Ottey with the Hoh River Valley and Mt. Olympus in the background.

 Darcy Ottey watching a bear feed in the meadow beyond her. An Olympic marmot was also watching the bear with much scrutiny. West of Swimming Bear Lake, Olympic National Park.

Darcy Ottey watching a bear feed in the meadow beyond her. An Olympic marmot was also watching the bear with much scrutiny. West of Swimming Bear Lake, Olympic National Park.

 Western Heather Vole (Phenacomys intermedius). Lunch Lake, Olympic National Park.

Western Heather Vole (Phenacomys intermedius). Lunch Lake, Olympic National Park.

 Stream in the Sol Duc River Valley, Olympic National Park.

Stream in the Sol Duc River Valley, Olympic National Park.

 Black bear, feeding on huckleberries. Olympic National Park.

Black bear, feeding on huckleberries. Olympic National Park.