"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, December 13, 2009

Gearing Up

When I'm driving around the Park I usually have my big lens on my camera. Chances are that whatever I need to take a picture of is not going to be right next to the road. Except for this morning. Coming into the Blacktail this bull elk was right next to the road. I was not in a position to stop and change lenses so I had to make due with my big lens. His rack was so large that I wasn't able to fit the entire thing into the frame.
But on my way back from Lamar I used a pullout to change lenses before coming back to the area that I had seen him in earlier. There were actually three bulls but only one was by the road.
And of course I saw coyotes today (but no Trotter). This one was by the Lamar River by Slough Creek. I also saw coyotes but Pebble Creek and in Lamar Valley.
Though this is not a great picture of the American Dipper that I wrote about before, it was the best I could do. There are quite a few of them where the Soda Butte meets the Lamar River. I waited for this one to put on his aquatic show but he was just content to sit at the edge of the ice.
I thought I would just snap a quick picture of the herd of bison across the Lamar River with the mountain background. As I watched them I noticed a leaping motion by them. Yup, a leaping coyote. There were actually two of them wandering by the herd.
So with a little zoom I was able to capture the two coyotes with the bison as a background. I always get a bit of a kick when I can see two different species in one spot.

On Friday evening I went into Gardiner for a quick errand. On my return and only after 20 minutes of passing the 'Caution. Debris On Road' sign in the canyon I came to find that rocks had tumbled down and were scattered all over the road. Could have been caused by erosion or maybe sheep, but driving through that area was an obstacle course. In that area I am always mindful that there could be things in the middle of the road. Sometimes it is animals and sometimes it is rocks. Neither I want to hit with my car.

Yesterday the wind blew all day and it snowed most of the day in what I've come to know as 'sideways snow'. I heard the snowplow scraping along this morning at about 5:00. There was about three inches on the ground. I would like to see more snow.

A group of Xanterra employees that work at the Snow Lodge left Mammoth yesterday for their winter at Old Faithful. Their last stop was the YGS to stock up on munchies and last minute necessities needed for a few months stay. I see the snowcoaches have been taken out for the winter and have been running up and down the road and more Mammoth Hotel and Dining Room employees are showing up. Mammoth is beginning to gear up for all the fun winter activities that are possible in Yellowstone.