"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

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Internet Rises Again....For Awhile At Least

Hello everyone! I have been receiving quite a few emails from people wondering what the heck has happened to me. I have not disappeared into the wilds of Yellowstone, I have been sitting with frustration as the Internet connection makes its appearance only to disappear again. To make matters worse my computer will not hook up at all..........my computer with my pictures on it. Great pictures I wanted to upload that include bighorn sheep, a wolf, bull elk and my friends from Dung & Dunger. Between Internet frustrations and being in Yellowstone it all seems to even out in the end......well, sort of. Pictures help to tell the story.
A week ago this past Thursday I was pleasantly surprised to run into Victor, Dan and Kara from Dung & Dunger (I wrote about them this summer and I have a link to the Dung & Dunger website). The gift shop in Mammoth Hotel was having a ribbon cutting ceremony to show off their new eco-friendly upgrades and they had invited some of the vendors for the occassion. The Dung Gang came over to YGS to say 'hi' so Connie & I decided to go visit their booth after work that evening. They gave Connie and myself t-shirts to wear and have our pictures taken in when we went for pizza that night at the K-Bar. After we returned to the hotel to listen to the speeches and watch the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was a really nice evening seeing and visiting with friends. This would be the spot where I would normally post my pictures from the evening, eventually I will get my computer up and going. During pizza I recieved a phone call that my dad was involved in a car accident in Florida. He spent the night in the hospital and is healing from numerous bumps and bruises. Get better soon, Dad!
I also made my weekly trips to Lamar Valley. On SundayI found myself marveling at some female bighorn sheep as they walked in single file through the snow across from the Yellowstone picnic area. I watched them for awhile as I adored the faces of the youngest in the group. This years babies are getting large but they still have faces that are still baby-like. On Monday, during my second trip of the week to Lamar, I got to watch a couple of rams across the road from the hitching posts. It's unbelievable that I spent so much time earlier this fall looking for the sheep and never finding them and now I don't even have to try to look for them. They just show up for me. Once again, I have some pictures.
On my way back to Mammoth, just past the Petrified Tree, as I went down the hill and curved to the right I found myself staring right at a wolf in the middle of the road. I came to an immediate stop and watched it carefully walk across the road. I managed to grab my camera and snap a few pictures. What became immediately apparant is that I was looking at one of the wolves with what appeared to be a case of mange. The tail was nearly hairless except at the tip and the hind quarters were scarred and spotted with sores. It was terribly thin. But lacking a skin scraping and a microscope I can only assume that is what is going on with the wolf. It was a sad sight.
On my return to the YCC I found that my 'yard' had a small herd of elk grazing in it. I was even awaken at 4:30 one morning when an elk decided to start whining on the road outside. It was either a very loud elk or I have extremely thin walls. I've also have been seeing the rabbit on a regular basis.
It has been extremely warm, near 40 degrees, so the snow in Mammoth is melting fast. The interior of the Park isn't doing much better in the snow department.