"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

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Private Bear

I finally got my computer connected to the Internet. But I am finding that it is an on and off kind of situation. I can't connect at the moment which is frustrating as I was going to upload some pictures tonight. I did get one picture uploaded and I will get more on the blog as soon as I can.

I have been told numerous times by guests that I talk funny. I guess that Minnesotans really do have an accent (though I think us Minnesotans talk just fine and the rest of the world have accents). The word that seems to send people into a case of the giggles is the Minnesotan pronunciation of 'bag'. And of course this is a word I use at least 150 times a day. Minnesotans pronounce it with a long a while the rest of the world pronounces it with a soft a. I did get to meet a nice couple last week. The wife was from Finland and the husband from Sweden. We had a nice long chat about the contributions that their two countries have brought to Minnesota. Lutefisk, for one. Only a Minnesotan can revel in the fact that they are eating fish that has been soaked in lye.

I went to a lecture on the Yellowstone wolves. It was given by a wolf biologist. It was very interesting. In 2008 many of the wolf pups died from distemper, which is becoming a problem in the population. The lecture inspired me to hurry up and finish my current book on grizzlies and start on my new wolf book.

After the lecture I took my nightly drive through Hayden Valley. The hills are really freckled with bison. The elk population in the valley is also getting larger. I watched a couple elk that seemed to be watching their surroundings nervously but I didn't spot any predators in the area. On my way back to Canyon I happened to look out the passenger side window and spotted a black bear in the woods. I hit the brakes and watched him meander across the road behind my car. It then stood on his hind legs and placed his front paws on a tree and stretched. I backed up to a nearby pull out and spent the next 10 minutes watching it walk around a small meadow. I got some of it on film but it was getting dark and I'm not sure how well it turned out. The best part was that I got to watch the entire thing all alone. Cars slowed down to rubberneck but they obviously didn't see the bear because no one stopped. It was my very own private bear moment.

Wildlife Sightings:

Grizzly Bear: 25
Black Bear: 4
Big Horn Sheep: 5
Moose: 1
Coyote: 4
Wolves: 12
Martens: 2