Blog

July 20, 2019 Living in the high mountains

The Marmot is one of the first animals I learned the latin name for as a child. Marmota Flaviventris, the yellow bellied Marmota is really a large ground squirrel that lives in rock talus slopes in the high mountains above 6500 feet. There are lots of talus slopes in the Beartooth mountains and lots of Marmots live there.

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July 19, 2019 The chase is on!

After having a bison carcass within close viewing distance and having watched it consumed by both wolves and grizzlies you don't expect to see much the next few days. But as a wolf watcher you must never make assumptions. We went in early as usual, before daybreak, which comes early in the Beartooths. A group of watchers had gathered at a turn out. Six members of the Junction Butte Pack were hanging out across the river in the Lamar Valley. One of the wolves, we think the Mocha Yearling, was casually following a big bull bison. This yearling has been quite adventuresome this summer. It is pretty...

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July 17, 2019 The influence of tourists on wildlife

Yellowstone National Park is overrun with tourists. More than it can handle and it shows. Unfortunately tourists excited about seeing wildlife but with no understanding of the animals they are so exuberantly trying to see may hurt wildlife. There are road kills where people bring their impatient city driving habits to the park and end of killing wildlife. Also by not understanding the complexities of the animals they are viewing they can harm them. There is a kill near the road that is attracting bears and wolves who need the food. One wolf is collar number 1109 a female with puppies. Sometime...

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July 15, 2019 – Wolf escort

There was a Bison death near the road, of natural causes, and that meant extremely good wildlife viewing. The Junction wolf pack was trying to defend the find. A Sow Grizzly and her two yearling cubs wanted some of the free food. But the wolf pack was not having any of it. So they dispatched four wolves to escort the Bear and cubs out of Dodge. Wolves can and do kill bear cubs but not apparently today. Wolves have a very sophisticated social order. They have good leaders and bad. Harsh leaders and gentle ones. In this case it appears the wolves were given marching orders to escort the wolves...

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July 8, 2019 Flower Child

We watched this black bear enjoying his morning as he worked back and forth on a hillside eat ONLY yellow flowers. All the time we watched him. Just the top part of the stem and the flower. Yum. He probably waited all winter for these flowers to bloom!  

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July 5, 2019 – Wolves and Bears

There is a bison kill in the Lamar Valley and the various residents have been taking advantage of the food source. Barb noticed a Bear swimming across the Lamar river. It turned out to be a boar Grizzly chasing a sow with two yearling cubs. The boar would kill the cubs if he caught her but he finally gave up to go check out the kill. Then momma bear was escorted out of the area by three wolves who would rather have the kill to themselves. The cubs did a good job of attacking the wolves and trying to defend themselves. Wolves can kill bear cubs. The wolves harassed the three bears until mom made...

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July 3, 2019- Kids just wanna have fun

These two kids were playing and head butting and generally having a good time.  

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July 1, 2019 Colter Campground opens

We opened US Forest Service Colter campground to fine weather. It has been rainy for the last few weeks so everyone appreciated the great weather. Our good friends Cam and Dawn Smith joined us on the weekend before the opening and brought with them great wildlife viewing luck. Foxes were one of the first animals we saw and we saw them everywhere! So we went down to the Bearclaw Bakery to have the best breakfast in Montana. Helen bakes foxes and many other scrumptious goodies. Terri's menu is very creative and gourmet for breakfast.   We took the grand loop around the park...

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March 5, 2019

We are getting ready for a new summer in Yellowstone National Park. Excited to see how the JUnction Butte and Lamar wolves have fared during the winter. I put together a longer video, than I can post here,of a morning from Aug. 31, 2018 watching the Junction Butte Pack which I uploaded to Youtube here: Junction Butte Pack

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September 10, 2018

Today the campground officially closes. The end of our summer adventure. Time to turn out the lights and lock the doors. It has been an important time for us. Creative time. Simple time. A time to reconnect. I think our favorite animal this summer has been the Bison. Probably because there are opportunities to see them up very close...safely. So many interesting people. The Wolf people. The Bison people. The Pronghorn people. We traveled down to the Tetons for a couple of days to meet the moose people. Goodbye my friends. I hope you survive the winter.

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