Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Yellowstone Reflections

The interesting thing about the trip to Yellowstone is that is was like no other. I have been there too many times to count. I have taken Japanese exchange students there and visiting friends and relatives. You take them to all the famous spots and you'll see Buffalo and Moose and Elk and maybe a bear if you're lucky. Good times are had by all seeing all the Geysers and waterfalls and such.

This time it was like the circle of life. Our focus was on the animals, that is what we wanted to see. Its was just a few years ago that I saw my first wolf through a high powered scope. You are looking at long distance and it is pretty cool. I saw wolves one afternoon, they were sleeping under a tree. We watched for several hours and I saw several get up and move around. It was pretty neat. All the people there love the animal and are so excited to get a chance to see them.

I saw both life and death cycle over and over again for the 5 days I was there. There were the babies, an antelope calf born just hours before, Sandhill Crane babies, Peregrine falcon chicks, owl babies, Big Horn Sheep lambs and a den of coyote pups that were just the cutest thing. I saw them play and rassle and play king of the mountain.

I also saw, the peregrine falcon feeding her chicks, a coyote catch a ground squirrel, a red fox carrying prey back to its den, a coyote try to get a antelope calf only to be run off by the mother. It was sad to realize that the mother had 2 calves in the morning and by nightfall she was down to one. I saw an Elk cow and calf and saw how she really protected her offspring. Then I saw both black bears and Grizzly's with cubs, just out eating for the day. It was quite magical to see all that. There is a real culture out there of animal watchers. Everyone learns from each other. You find new places to go and hear that so and so's eggs hatched or that the wolves were seen here and there, or there are mountain goats on a certain ridge. Its a real sharing. Then there are the people who stop where you have your scope set up and you offer to let them look, they are so grateful. I remember the German man who didn't know English but we just led him to the eye piece to see the Peregrine Falcon. Words weren't necessary at that point, you could see it in his eyes. He shook our hands and thanked us and then got his son who spoke a little English and when we let him look too his eyes shown wide with appreciation. Sharing those moments with total strangers was the most fun.

Here are the first round of pictures. Above was Undine Falls and below are a fox, a cow moose, A great horned owl, a big horn sheep and lamb, here I am looking for wolves, and 2 black bears. I'll post more tomorrow.


LisaOceandreamer said...

OMG Kate, how amazing!! It's like you are our own version of Animal Planet. How exciting to see these animals all in their natural habitat. I was a little girl the last time I was in Yellowstone but I remember my parents saying "close the windows" as bears were coming up to the car.
That scope is amazing too - does your camera have an intense telephoto too?

How sweet of you to share the scope, I am sure many sights wouldn't be seen without it! Can't wait to see more photos!

Blue the Spa Girl said...

I would LOVE to go to Yellowstone Kate, you are very lucky.
I love your photographs, the fox wins in my book. But they are all spectacular.
Awesome post!!!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh you are sooo lucky Kate! To have been to Yellowstone to many times to count.I bet that it is very inspirational to go there huh? :) Your LUCKY! You lucky duck you! LOL Thank you for sharing these beautiful images with us. :) Wonderful post!