"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, February 14, 2010


Since I am the Park 23/7 (23 because I go to Gardiner briefly during the week) I am never under pressure to see and do everything like those who are here for short vacations. So when I pass an opportunity to see things of interest I do so because I know I will probably have the chance to see it in the future. I had numerous people tell me about a bobcat by Phantom Lake last weekend that spent 4 hours feeding on a kill. That is something I probably will have to wait a long time to see and I wish I would of had the chance to stop and see that particular bobcat.
There was a kill at the base of Capital Hill this weekend and I saw the researchers watching with interest. I didn't get a chance to see any wolves but I did get to watch a couple eagles perched on rocks as ravens and magpies circled and landed on the kill. A large flock of ravens circling is always a good clue that something of interest is laying on the ground.
With my only two options of travel being east toward Cooke City and north toward Livingston I'm having to rely on spinning around with a pointed finger and heading in the direction that I stop at. Lately it has been north. I see huge herds of mule deer, larger than any herd that I have ever seen in Minnesota. I also have noticed that I see a lot of deer laying down. Not that is really of any interest but Minnesota is heavily wooded (at least the northern portion) and I have actually never seen a deer lying down in the wild because they are usually hidden.
I've also been seeing the antelope quite a bit. I enjoyed one day when I sat and watched 3 of them by the Gardner River. 2 were rather young and were busy bouncing around after each other and running circles around the 3rd older one. I assumed it was the equivalent of humans stopping at a rest area and letting the kids run around the outside of the building to wear off some extra energy before traveling on. I also have had a daily visitor outside my place. A raven has taken to perching itself on top of the light post outside and squawking very loudly. I named him Poe and if I use my imagination I can almost hear the word 'nevermore' in that squawk. If he starts tap, tap, tapping at my door I am out of there.
Those of us here at YGS in Mammoth are gearing up for our big dinner outing at Chico on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to a big slab of prime rib.
Yes, some days it can be a struggle coming up with anything interesting to write about. I have been fighting off the urge to write about how my microwave tends to burn my popcorn or how I sprayed foam carpet cleaner on my carpet and now I have dirty carpet with paths of clean from where the spray hit it. But since I once dedicated an entire post to chapstick this past fall I decided to pass on the boring stuff and just get right to the meat of things - so when I'm not posting for a few days it is because I haven't seen a darn thing. But talking about chapstick, Connie bought me some that is Mt. Dew flavored and it actually has a warning on the label that tells me not to eat it. I'll have to check a Mt. Dew can and see if it has a warning not to use that as chapstick.
And a side note of CONGRATULATIONS! is in order to Benjamin who just recieved his letter of acceptance to the University of Minnesota for their pre-med program. He has been accepted at all 3 universities that he applied to but the U of M is his dream. They only accept about 12% of the 40,000 applicants. With his numerous talents there was never a doubt in my mind that he would be accepted. A job well done!