Thursday, June 7, 2012

We're on our way back from Yellowstone, but here's a few pictures from our "big animal day" in the park.

When animals stare you right down, particularly black bears, you really get an eerie feeling.  Although Walt was bordering on close (YNP rules are 100 yds from bears and wolves), through his lens this looks way too close, and just a little too curious for comfort.   This bear wasn't acting in a disturbing way, but he did want to cross the road and fortunately we were with a bunch of very good photographers and watchers and just as if the rangers were there, folks parted and let the bear have a wide berth to cross the road.

Which brings up another interesting point.  Too many times, people just either don't pay attention or else don't obey the rules and they pay the price.  Last year there were several attacks and deaths due strictly to folks not obeying the rules and guidelines set up meticulously by the rangers to make sure folks have a safe visit to a wild and untamed part of the world.  Nature is not forgiving if you make a mistake.  Nature will kill you.  Your family can't sue nature to win a law suit for you acting and being dumb.  You just die and that's it.  Fortunately the bear incident was without any calamity because everyone acted appropriately.
That isn't always the case as we drove out Dunraven Pass this morning and towing a travel trailer (even as light as ours) through a mountain pass (actually we had to go through two of them) is difficult enough without folks stopping on corners and just not moving  Fortunately we were going so slowly that we didn't have any accidents, and in one case there was no traffic coming so we could go around the stopped cars. 

All this for a picture of a grouse and another over bears.  I realize it's fun to stop and take pictures of wildlife, and it's tempting, but Walt and I really do work hard to make sure we follow the rules.  Usually when something like this comes up, we drive on to the closest turnout, and if it's too far away, will turn around, drive back, Walt will hop out and I will go park the car.  Like the photo above, everyone was off the white line, obeying the animal guideline limits and working hard to stay safe and get great photos.  And no one was hurt, and everyone had a great time with great stories to tell!

Yellowstone is such a fantastic place to visit. If it isn't the animals, it's the beautiful scenery and landscape.  This spring the whole place is just green, green, green and gorgeous.  It makes it even more fun when everyone keeps to the rules that are only there to make it a safe visit.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We're in Yellowstone and I'm working with Blogger the first time to see how I like it...Lots of spring animals abound this time of year and Walt and I love riding the Northern Tier looking for great shots.
These are two cubs that were playing around while mother was working hard to get some grubs and such to eat.  It's great to be young!

 There's nothing more fun that the cute little foxes that scamper across the landscape.  This vixen had a hidden stash she raided to take back to her kits at the den.
We took a hike around the Lava Creek Trail Head, which passes behind the residential area at Mammoth.  We had heard there was an eagle's nest behind the residential area and this would be the perfect area to look down on the least that was our plan.  Unfortunately we didn't find the nest but got a great view of the Yellowstone River.  Unfortunately we happened upon two fawns with their moms and scared the daylights out of them....from then on I was a constant yacker so the elk could keep up with where we were. 
Sunday we took the Beartooth Hiway, one of our favorite scenic trips and it's just opened as of June 1.  You can see why, as this is the depth of the snow that had to be cleared to make the hiway passable just recently.  The temp start at 80 in Yellowstone, 55 at the Beartooth  Pass and 85 at Billings.  This is always very strange for me to pass from hot to cold in such a short time.

But the great payoff, was at the Cooke City where there was another cute fox:
Aren't they the cutest?  This one was hunting around for something good to much on. He found it and immediately buried it.  You can never be too careful.