Yellowstone Diary

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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September 7, 2018

As our summer comes to a close we are enjoying perfect weather. The views in the high country are spectacular around here. Here a number of Bighorn are enjoying the last summer sun on Henderson Mountain. This is an image of the highest mountain in Montana, Granite Peak.

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September 6, 2018

If it is one thing I have learned this summer is that really good wildlife shots, in the wild, are very hard to get and the opportunities poor. The wolves and grizzlies are visible in the early morning at 6am and are pretty much gone into the woods or bedded down to sleep by 8:30am. Most of the sightings in the Lamar Valley are a mile to two miles away. But every once in a while you get lucky. This morning at 6:15am we turned a corner, on the way into the Lamar Valley, and there were the Lamar wolf pack right next to the road. Right next to our car door. Given the fates it was too dark to get an image....

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September 5, 2018

One great aspect of spending more time than a glancing drive-by view of a place is you begin to understand it. For the wolves of the northern tier we have learned the routes they take, the times of the day they spend in various locations and places they like to hang out. The reward is being able to see them interacting rather than just a glimpse in the woods. Here is a early morning video of the Junction Butte pack howling. Two early for enough light for a good video but you can at least hear the audio of them howling a mile away. Next entry in diary

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September 4, 2018

We have only seen a couple of Bears all summer so it was a delight to see a grizzly feeding on a Bison carcass relatively close to the road this morning. It was unfortunate that the Bison calf was hit by a car. Next entry in diary

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September 3, 2018

A week ago today the temperature dropped dramatically, barely reaching 40 degrees, and it rained off and on all day. It had rained all night Sunday and early into Monday morning, the most rain we had seen since arriving on July 1. When the clouds finally lifted for a moment late Monday afternoon, there was fresh snow on all the surrounding mountain tops. Ram Pasture in Snow Republic Mountain in Snow Henderson Mountain in Snow The mountains looked beautiful with fresh snow, especially the next day when the clouds were gone and the sky was crystal clear, all the smoke having been washed and blown...

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September 1, 2018

One thing we are careful about when photographing wildlife is to never cause them harm. We don't push the wildlife by getting inside their comfort range. We don't block wildlife if they're wanting to get past us. We once had a grizzly with her two cubs "push" us down a beach in Alaska. She simply wanted to use a trail that came out onto the beach and once she had pushed us beyond the turn-off to the trail she turned onto it and left us behind. In Yellowstone, in our opinion, too many people are impatient and drive too fast on the roads. They don't get that this is no longer the expressway to work...

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August 31, 2018

The Lamar Valley is famous worldwide as THE place to see wolves. You will most likely see wolves if you get up at 4:30 am to be in the Lamar by 6 am. But they still will be a mile or more away and you might get to see one for 3 minutes. But then there are days like today. We were the first persons at the Picnic pull out this morning. It was one of those mornings where having a 100mm aperture to gather light in dim conditions paid off. I found the first wolves in a minute or two after scanning the hillside. As they moved out of the forest into the open and moved downhill we discovered the entire...

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August 30, 2018

Had to get some work done on the Suburban today, 110 miles away in Livingston, but on the return we were treated to these dancers of the rocks. We have been lucky enough to see the many variations of Bighorn Sheep. Dall sheep are very white and are found in Alaska. Stone Sheep are found in northern Canada and are like Bighorn with a dark gray dusting on their chests. Rocky Mountain Bighorn are tan/grey to light brown and Desert Bighorn are darker tan with patches of dark purple and brown. Next entry in diary

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August 20, 2018

We headed to Slough Creek yesterday morning amidst heavy fog. We were hoping to see the Junction Pack wolves as they had been sited in the area in recent days. Alas, we saw no wolves but were rewarded for our early rising with foggy, misty scenes as the sun gradually appeared dimmed by clouds, smoke and fog. Smoke has been making for very hazy skies in the last week or so. We're not sure where the smoke is coming from, whether from a small fire in the northwest corner of Yellowstone, fires in Idaho, Glacier Nat'l Park, Canada, and California or all of the above. Next entry in diary

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