Yellowstone Diary 2020

July 19, 2020

Arising early and persistence are two things that usually pay off when trying to view wildlife in Yellowstone. From one day to the next you can never know what you might see. One day, you might see nothing of note and the next may be a banner day for viewing. Yesterday, we saw very little at our favorite viewing spot. We saw one black wolf for about five seconds in the far distance. This morning, upon entering the Park just before daybreak, we saw a black wolf about 100 feet off the road near Barronette. It was too dark to make a photograph. We wondered if it was a wolf from the Lamar Pack, whose territory has been the eastern part of the Park until recently when, apparently, the pack left the Park. A bit later, we watched a group of about eight wolf pups sunning themselves on a ridge top while being supervised by a black adult. After the pups went on the other side of the ridge and were no longer visible, we watched as the adult came down slope to the valley floor, crossed Slough Creek, and then slowly approached the hill we were standing on, disappearing from time to time in the folds of the sage-covered hills. At one point, we could no longer tell which direction it was headed and thought it was gone from sight for good. But then, suddenly, it appeared below us, close enough that we could see its piercing yellow eyes. As it passed before us, I was able to make this photograph.

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