"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 18, 2009

Robyn Cries Wolf

With the day off from work I decided to head once again to Hayden Valley this morning. I spent an hour watching 3 grizzlies and chatting with park guests. Hayden Valley is just a few miles south of Canyon. After watching the bears I started to head back to Canyon and about 1 miles south I had to hit my brakes hard when a huge silver wolf trotted out in front of my car. I followed it down the road and across a bridge before it headed off into the woods again. I pulled into a side parking area and soon it emerged from the woods about 50 feet from me and I snapped a couple of pictures (2 of which I deleted because I had the camera on the wrong setting and 1 that is of ok quality). I decided to put together my 35mm for great shots like these and just suck up the processing fee. The digital works great when I have time to prepare for a picture but sudden ones work better with the Cannon.

After my great wolf encounter I headed off to Lamar Valley. Dunraven Pass doesn't open until Friday so have to take the long way there, which west to Norris, north to Mammoth and then east through Tower Junction. Without being able to use the pass it is an extra 30 miles at 35 - 45 mph. Lamar was filled with buffalo, elk and antelope. On my way I passed an idiot standing in the middle of the road within 15 feet of a bull elk which has started to grow his antlers. Some people think Yellowstone is a petting zoo. Anyway, I managed to pull into a pull out and find a wolf den with my spotting scope. I also got to watch a mama grizzly and her two cubs as well as a huge male on another part of the mountain. Very cool.

After dinner I took Patrick and Brandon down to Hayden to see if we could find a grizzly. Brandon hadn't seen one since we started and we all were bound and determined to get him to a place that he could. All 3 of us managed to find a huge male grizzly to watch. My total grizzly sightings for the day was 8.

My 2009 total as of May 18:

Grizzlies: 12
Black Bears: 2
Wolves: 2
Coyotes: 2
Elk, Bison & Antelope: too many to count but loving each sighting