"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

Sunday, November 22, 2009


For the first time since I've come to Mammoth I finally saw my first bison in Mammoth. This guy was sleeping just off the road half way up to the Yak. I've heard about the bison coming into the Yak and I've been waiting patiently for an arrival. I suppose it can be a bit disconcerting to open your door to find a bison at the bottom of your steps but the Dorm Bison has trained me well and I will know what to: look before leaping, so to speak.
Snow has been falling since this morning so the road to Lamar was covered in white (with some ice in some spots). Before I left I made myself a winter survival kit for my car, something I've done for years and have never had to use and hopefully will never have to - but it's there if I need it). In Lamar I only saw a couple other vehicles, which is such a strange feeling. I saw this eagle perched in a tree and while I took its picture a coyote crossed the road behind my vehicle. I adore eagles and I've seen many of them in Minnesota. I even was having a sort of eagle problem when a couple of them decided that my pet ducks were delicious. They would swoop into my duck pen and hold them down and rip their feathers out while I would run out and try to shoo them away. I guess I'm not very intimidating to an eagle because they would just kind of look at me and then fly onto a low branch and study this odd human behavior of running around with arms waving. Most of the ducks were too heavy to carry away but occasionally they would grab a young one and I would see it in the grips of an eagle as it quacked out of sight. So that is my experience with eagles. Though I've lost a few pets to the species I still admire them.

I also had another coyote cross in front of my car by Pebble Creek and I watched him mouse for awhile. I take a lot of pictures of the coyotes I see. I seem to be accumulating quite a collection of pouncing coyotes pictures. Am I tired of seeing the coyotes? Absolutely not. I remember years ago watching a National Geographic (I think) show on a Yellowstone coyote who was run off from his pack and his trials of trying to survive on his own, find another pack to join, and finding a mate. If anyone knows what show I'm talking about please contact me so I can figure out how to get a copy of it! This is off the topic but I once watched a National Geographic show when I was a kid about a pelican during the dry season in Africa. After investing an hour watching this poor pelican try to survive the final scene was of it's dead carcass laying on the parched ground. Aaagh! I like the happy endings and I do remember the coyote show having a happy ending.