Monday, September 22, 2008

Masters of Disguise

We hiked to Loch Lomond yesterday. While we were admiring the neon green lichen and golden grasses above 12,000 ft. several small birds darted out in front of us and scared us enough that my friend dropped his camera. We had no idea they were even there - they were so well matched to their surroundings, but when we looked around for a little bit we could see them all around us. They were white-tailed ptarmigans and their camouflage was very impressive. If they weren't shedding their brown and grey feathers for the white winter ones they would have been even harder to find. It is even pretty hard to spot them in the photos:

here's some lichen:

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