Monday, June 11, 2007

Yellowstone day 5: More dog days of Yellowstone.

Thursday morning we decided to head off to the coyote den right away in the morning. On the way there we saw this bull elk resting at the side of a creek. I guess sometimes even the elk find it hard to get up and get going in the morning. Prolly did not get his morning coffee yet.
When we got to the coyote den we found that there was an adult with the pups. One of the people who had been watching the den for days told us that this was a female from a previous litter who was still living with the parents. This was a behavior that I had never seen before. I am sure that it was difficult for the parents having another mouth to feed as well as all the puppies but it did give them a built in babysitter. Sometimes though it is not so much fun taking care of the kids when you are a teenager.

But a little puppy love makes things all better.
Mom did come back while we watched with some breakfast.
A bit of protein does a puppy body good.
I can't believe I ate the whole thing! I think that I m going into food coma.
After a few hours, and another 8gb worth of used CF card, the adults left to hunt some more and the puppies settled down to sleep. It was getting around lunch time so we headed to Tower to eat our lunch. After eating we headed out to Lamar Valley. In Lamar we photographed a male pronghorn resting as well as an active osprey nest. On our way out of Lamar we spotted a big horned ram on a hill over looking the road. This is likely the same ram that we had photographed earlier in the week.
We made a stop back in tower where we saw a couple of mule dear.
Then we decided that we would go back to the coyote den and photograph some more puppies. On the way back we spotted a yellow bellied marmot, sometimes called a woodchuck, on the side of the road.
When we got back to the interpretive trail where the den was we saw that the parking lot was almost empty. I went back to the back of the boardwalk to set up but their were no coyotes visible. One of the other visitors there told me that someone had tried to get too close and the coyotes had moved the den. I have done a lot of crazy things to get a good shot, but forcing an animal to move it's home and family to get a picture is just plain wrong.

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