Monday, June 11, 2007

Yellowstone day 4: Who let the dogs out!

Day three in Yellowstone was pretty much a wash. It snowed most of the day. With very poor lighting it was difficult to take any pictures. So we decided to pack it in early that day and hope that Wednesday, day four, would be better. Wednesday morning the weather was better so we decided to head back to the Tower/Lamar Valley area. When we got close to tower we noticed a few cars parked along the road so we decided to stop and take a look. The reason for the traffic was a black bear in the woods a short way from the road.
After foraging in the woods for a bit the bear headed towards the road. I could tell from my experience around Yellowstone bears that the bear was looking to cross the road. Unfortunately there were no rangers around at the moment and there were quite a few people blocking his path trying to get pictures with their little cameras. I did not want to see the bear get in any trouble so I asked the people to make a path for the bear to cross and surprisingly people listened.
I got a couple of good close ups as the bear crossed. Fortunately I have a descent lens so I do not have to be right on top of the bear to get a good shot.
A few minutes later it became obvious why the bear was itching to cross the road. After the bear moved of into the back country we continued on to the Tower visitor area. When we were there we heard about a coyote den that was in a good location back the way that we had come. So we decided to head back and check it out. On the way we noticed a couple of cars parked in the exit to the Blacktail Plateau trail. We stopped and were rewarded with some more pictures of a red fox. The fox crossed the road and quickly disappeared on the other side so we continued back to where the coyote den was supposed to be. The location of the den was right off of the Forces of the Northern Range Self-guiding Trail. When we got there we saw that the parking lot was pretty full. We had noticed that there were many cars in the lot on our way out but we had thought that it was a tour group or something. The den was located off the back of the boardwalk which was currently filled with photographers, most with huge lenses. We had seen coyote dens on past Yellowstone trips but none had ever been so close and accessible. We spent most of the rest of the day shooting the very cute pups.

After several hours and a couple of 8gb cards the pups finally got tired and decided to sleep. We took their lead and headed back to our hotel.

No comments: