Monday, May 15, 2017

First Full Day in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is the Granddaddy of National Parks for a reason.  If in your lifetime you visit one national park, this is the one to visit.  There's so much here, and there are people who keep coming back for years and years and years - like us - and are never bored.  This was a reconnoiter session so that we could get the lay of the land and see what's the same and what's new.  The first thing we noticed is that they had a LOT of snow last season and the rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes are all way up.  The waterfalls are going to be a blast this spring.

We hit some of the regulars, like a playful coyote working on the remains of the day.
Coyotes must be the best entertainers in Yellowstone....this guy was gnawing away at an elk femur probably trying to get the marrow out.  The treat here is that Walt got a great video of this, which I will have to post after I get to a broadband internet service (back home)!

 Moving further toward Lamar Valley there are a group of aspens that always have some Kestrel nests in them, and this guy was working the field for some bugs and resting on an aspen limb checking us out.

As we got closer to the Northeast Gate of Yellowstone, we spotted a badger that was really large.  They have a great little friendly looking face, but have to remember that last time we were here they raided a fox's den and got the kits.  We were really upset, especially for the mom, and ever since, no matter how beautiful, I've always been a little leery of badgers, and when they are this big, I'll pass on getting too close. 

Walt has one of those gigantor lenses  - like the ones you see at the OU football games on the side lines, which makes it a lot safer and easier to get this close-up shots!

As we were getting ready to leave the aspens, we noticed a couple of large birds fly in, and the sandhill landing is unmistakable.  It's like special forces parachuting in.  Then Walt got this great shot here. 

So much for reconnoitering - tomorrow we start in earnest, because Thursday & Friday it's snowing!!!!  Yikes!!!

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