Monday, May 28, 2007

Day 1: We arrive in Yellowstone.

While this is a mostly birding website I enjoy all nature and wildlife and you can not go to Yellowstone and only take pictures of birds. So here are some of the mammals that we were able to photograph on our trip.

We left for Yellowstone on Saturday morning. That day we drove across Minnesota and North Dakota and stopped for the night in Glendive, MT. Sunday morning we continued on and arrived at Yellowstone around 2pm. We immediately set out across the upper loop to the Tower and Lamar Valley area. We decided to check out the Tower area first and as we passed the Roosevelt Junction we came across a red fox in a small meadow. We had seen a fox in the same area last year and we guessed that this was the same one. After a pit stop at the tower visitor center we headed out to Lamar Valley. As we crossed the Yellowstone River we saw a lot of cars stopped at the side of the road. Since we had seen big horn sheep in this area in past years we stopped to see what everyone was looking at. We were not disappointed. In the field next to the road was a large ram and his harem.
We got some good shots as they came close and then crossed the road. Lamar was pretty quiet so we headed back to Tower and got our first bear sighting of the trip.
By this time it was getting pretty late, my blood sugar was getting low and the hotel was still a couple hours away so we headed back across the park to West Yellowstone. On the way back we came across a large elk grazing and stopped for a couple of pictures. It is cool to see them when the antlers are covered in velvet. He still even had some of his winter coat.
Even though it was a good first day we were still a little disappointed. The past 2 times that we had come in the spring we had been fortunate and had spotted grizzly bears on the first day. This year we did not and unfortunately it was a portent that this year we would not be as extremely lucky as we had been in the past.

No comments: