Sunday, June 3, 2007

Yellowstone Day 2: Pronghorn, bison and bears, oh my!

Day two, Monday, started out cloudy but cleared up a bit later in the afternoon. As with most days we headed north to the Tower and Lamar Valley area of the park. On our way into the Lamar Valley we spotted a lone pronghorn buck crossing a field. Pronghorn are the fastest mammals in North America with a sustained speed of about 30mph and a burst speed of up to 60mph.
On our way back out of Lamar Valley we ran into a bison jam. The bison jam is a bit different then a bear jam. A bear jam is when everyone stops to watch a bear that can be seen from roadside. A bison jam is when everyone stops because the bison have left the roadside and are now blocking the road. These can last a long time depending on where it happens and whether you are traveling in the same direction as the bison are. On our last morning we spent over 2 hours in a bison jam. This one we only had to stop for a few minutes and we took the opportunity to photo some of the new calves.

Over by Tower we spotted Rosie and her yearling cubs. Rosie is a well known bear that spends a lot of time by Tower Falls. We have photographed her with cubs 4 different years.
Last spring we were able to shoot her when these cubs where new born. Now they have been with her for over a year.
Rosie and the cubs where very playful.
This wrestling with mom and with each other is how the cubs learn. These lessons are very valuable as this summer Rosie will chase the cubs away and then they will be on their own.
Wrestling with cubs can make a bear hungry.
Cubs get hungry too.
Once the cubs are on their own Rosie will look for a mate so that next year we will hopefully be treated to another new set of cubs.

1 comment:

Goggans said...

great bear pictures. duane and judy goggans