"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, May 10, 2011

The Weight of Snow

There are times in Yellowstone when you can find yourself coming much too close to Yellowstone's wildlife.  Take last Thursday evening for instance.  I was laying on my bed totally captivated by the movie Shrek 4 when I decided to get up, cross the floor, and then come back to the comfort of my bed only to find that I had a bed companion.  This spider was relaxing it's weary eight legs on my pillow.  Eeeww!  I took a picture of it so I could find someone who could identify it (I still have to do that).  It scurried away before I could capture it.  I have named him Gary and I know Gary is somewhere in my room watching me with multiple little spider eyes.  I find no comfort in that.
Last Thursday and Friday I had Manager Meetings in West Yellowstone.  I got to spend both of those mornings taking a nice leisurely drive through the Park with expectations of seeing some wildlife.  With camera by my side I headed out both mornings.  I saw very little but I did manage to find some bison calves by the Madison River west of Norris.  I have now seen a total of seven calves, a pitiful few compared to previous springs.  But the ones I saw were small and wonderful.  I found these two bounding and leaping in play on a snowy and rainy Friday morning.

The weight of the snow was too much for this structure.  The repair garage at Fishing Bridge collapsed last week.
My weekend included meeting up with old friends.  Jackie made it back to Yellowstone to start her third year at Canyon General.  I picked her up in West Yellowstone Saturday morning and we had a grand day shopping in Bozeman.  I am sooo glad to see her again.  Welcome back, Jackie!  

Friday night I made my way to Wapiti to meet up with Patrick at the cabin.  I found a moose 4 miles west of Wapiti grazing off the side of the road.  I could actually hear it munching on the vegetation.  I took a picture but with the light fading all I managed to capture was a silhouette and two glowing eyes.  Luckily I spotted it again Sunday afternoon as we headed back to the Park.  She was further from the road and partially hidden.  The road from Wapiti to the east entrance was a wildlife bonanza:  elk, bison, moose, bighorn sheep and deer.  What a wonderful and scenic drive.
The weather remains cool with rain and snow lately.  We've experienced a couple of power outages this weekend but nothing that lasted more than an hour.  The snow has continued to melt in front of the store but it still towers over my head.