"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt
Monday, May 11, 2009
In Yellowstone the Bison Rule the Road
I spent the entire day driving through the park. I've been in quite a few bison jams. The baby bison are great fun to watch. One little fella was scratching his ear with his hind foot and fell right over. I came in the north entrance and into Mammoth. My instincts then directed me to Lamar Valley. I have great instincts as that is where I saw a black WOLF!! It was harassing a herd of elk. To top that I saw a black bear!! All this within 1 1/2 hours of entering the park. I also found out where there is a wolf den to watch with binoculars. I'll check that out some other day.
I watched a bald eagle fight with another bird in mid-flight and then listened to some sandhill cranes. I also saw the regular assortment of Yellowstone animals. I still have to see a grizzly, bighorn sheep and coyotes. It would be great to see some of the other animals that are in the park but are much more secretive such mountain lions and mountain goats but I won't hold my breath on those.
I decided to check out snow conditions in the southern part of the park. I drove by Old Faithful, but didn't stop. The snow is deep down there, it is taller than my car. It is like driving through a snow canyon. I went up by Yellowstone Lake and then into Hayden Valley. It is still too early in the season for the bison and wolves there. I counted the entire herd of bison in Hayden Valley and came up with a grand total of 2. I did see some pelicans on the river.
It was a successful wildlife watching day. Tomorrow is my big day when I check in, get my dorm room and have orientation. It will be a busy day.