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007 Pika 2008-11-17

pika on Mount Huron

A joy of traveling to a different climatic zone is observing the flora and fauna (plants and animals) of the region. High is the alpine zone lives the pika or cony. A descendant of the rabbit family the pika survives and even thrives in the windy, cold, harsh, mountainous weather.

The pika lives above tree line amongst the rocks of the alpine tundra. There they pass the summer collecting grasses, setting them out to dry as hay for the long winter ahead. They do not hibernate in the winter, instead they stay active underground living on the grass they collected during the summer.

One of the traits we like most about the pika is that they are not tame. Not that the little rock bunny would or could be vicious, but they go about their business with almost complete disregard to the humans walking on the trails near them. So oftentimes this is not the case with other wild animals. Some visitors to the wilderness areas try to feed the animals with bits of human food to tame them like pets. Where birds, squirrels, and chipmunks will give in to, and become reliant on, the tasty human treats, the pikas seem to stay steadfast on their grass based diet. In fact the pika probably would only take human food if the human lived on a grass or hay diet!

What a wonderful way to live, the pika is a predator to no one, works hard for the survival of his community, is content with the things he is supposed to have, begs from no one, and proudly lives high in the mountains enduring the harshest of conditions.

Oh, to live like a pika!

Happy grassy trails.


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