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12 February, 2010

Another day in the Lamar Valley

There is never a lack of bison in the Lamar Valley, it's just deciding if you have enough pictures of them or if there is a unique image that you haven't captured. We were near Soda Butte and Marty was walking our 2 great dane dogs when I spotted this guy across the valley on the ridge foraging in the snow. I took several shots and was pleased with the results when I got home. This is good enough that it can now be found in art gallery's.
Not far down the road were more bison, this time they were close to the road so I decided to get a close up of one of the guys.
This time of the year, the Big Horn sheep come out of the mountains primarily to find food. I typically find them in the area around Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner, but on this day we were 30 miles east and here was a big brute on the side of the hill attempting to feed himself.
The wolves were only in range of spotting scopes. In addition, Rich McIntyre, one of the wolf specialists in Yellowstone had put up signs asking tourists not to stop in an area where the wolves cross the road. This is typically done to not inhibit the movement of the wolves from their feeding area to their dens in the hills to the north of Lamar. But there were some smaller 4 legged canines in the area. This one I tracked for several miles. . . . . .
and finally, I found another coyote, this time I went for a close up.
One more round of photographs from this trip will appear soon.

09 February, 2010

Cervius Canadensis

Most of your are wondering what is the significance of these 2 words. It represents the species of moose, elk, and deer. When Marty and I visited Yellowstone National Park las week we saw lots of elk, some deer, and no moose. As we entered the park at Mammoth Hot Springs, Marty suggested we travel to the top of the "hot springs" to see if there might be some elk. After traveling as far as we could, (the road south was closed for the winter), we turned the car around and look what we saw.
These ladies were very content, sitting on the top of the hill, but there was one that looked quite attractive, as if she were posing for me. I did not wait, focused my camera and took several pictures, this is the one I saved.
We then headed east toward Cooke City to see if the boys were around their normal hang out which is usually about 5 to 7 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs. No one was there, in fact we didn't see anything of interest or near enough to the road until we were almost ready to turn around. It was a Big Horn sheep, you'll see him on the next post. We started our return and we did see a bull elk, but he wasn't posing and we went on to Chico for a great dinner.

The next day, we headed toward the "hot spot" again for the boys, and we found them. Not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4. Three of them were lined up as if they knew we were coming to take their photograph.

The 4th one was near by, still grazing on what was available. He was also doing all kinds of antics, face in the snow, scratching his head with his hind hoof, butting the ground with his rack, and then he stood still for this photograph.

He eventually must have either got tired or was full and decided to rest. I focused on his antlers as I felt he had just a beautiful rack. Looked like a trophy to me. I am not good enough at comparing pictures and antlers but I am suspicious that this may have been the bull elk that I photographed over 2 years ago.

Day one was the girls, day two was the boys, and after we left the park, Marty wanted to drive to Jardine, mostly a ghost town about 5 miles outside of Gardiner high in the mountains. We were almost back to town, when on the top of the horizon we saw this deer. It posed until I could get this photograph.
Come back again soon as we will see more wildlife from our trip to Yellowstone.