Monday, April 28, 2008

Wolf Watching

I am back from quite a magical weekend. It really feels strange I really hadn't settled back into my life after Sedona before we were off again on an unscheduled trip to Yellowstone. I need some time to process all the experiences and see where they have taken me.

Here is Dave looking out in Lamar valley.

Here I am at the scope looking for wolves. We are in Lamar valley in the territory of the Druid Pack. The Druids were the first pack in the park. Their numbers dwindled the last couple years but they have made a comeback and there are 19 wolves in the pack now. We saw lots of black wolves and grey ones which probably varied in color too. You just can't tell at that distance.

This is the only picture I managed to get of a wolf and it is not very good. We got to the overlook five minutes too late or I would have been able to get a better shot. The wolves from the Druid pack have a den high in the mountains and travel across the road to hunt and so forth. If you are really lucky you can see one. Most we saw through our scope and we don't have a camera or adapter that will work with it yet. Maybe next time. I did see lots of wolves and that is what I wanted. Over the 2 days I probably saw 20 from 2 different packs. The druid and the Slough Creek Pack. We saw some at a carcass eating and others just playing around and greeting each other. Another group was harassing some buffalo moms, they did not succeed at getting a calf but they were entertaining to watch. One of the grey wolves was a little prankster, would just tease and play until the mom had enough and ran after it.

Here are a couple buffalo's and their babies.

This is a Big Horned Sheep that we saw on a Hillside. There were 3 of them but this is the only one who would pose for a picture.

A group of Sand hill Cranes, the were talking and they make such interesting sounds. we also saw a Great Blue Heron preening its feathers but too far away for any pictures. This trip seemed all about observing animal behavior in the wild. We saw a bald eagle and ravens on a buffalo carcass and it was interesting to see the interaction between the two. I heard coyote yip and bark and wolves howl that is so cool to witness.

This is a red shafted northern flicker. It stayed there the longest time, I guess it was waiting for me to take its picture.

It has been a rough winter in Yellowstone. The Elk looked really bad, you could see their ribs. There is a lot of snow still there. More than usually for this time of year. It got really warm on Sunday so hopefully it will melt soon and the animals will be able to find food. This was the first time I saw a buffalo in a full coat. They start shedding part of it real soon. We will be going back at the end of May for a week or two so it will be interesting to see the changes then.


Olivia said...

It's so interesting, Kate, to see the differences in what we do for fun in different parts of the country. I couldn't imagine going out to look for wildlife, but seeing your pictures here, it does look like fun. There are so few places now where people can do this. Amazing!

MissKoolAid said...

Sounds like a fun adventure. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us.


Sheila said...

Wow, you have really been getting back to Nature lately..
Great photos Kate..

Pam Aries said...

Kate! This is absolutely wonderful! OOOHHH.... Love the Ram on the rocks..heh heh! I am so glad we all got to get to 'know' each other in Sedona! From this moment o.. my computer time is going t obe truly limited...WEll... maybe not, I will get a laptop from the Universe! ha!

artbrat said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your photos. I havent made it to yellowstone yet. I will get there someday. What a neat experience to watch the wolves at play. Thank you for sharing these.

Julie said...

We were in Yellowstone in January one year. Didn't see any wolves, but we were way too close to a buffalo. He was right beside the road, right next to our snowmobiles. He was so close I could see the frost on his eyelashes. Like I said, way too close. Dumb men (they were driving). P. S. Never go through Yellowstone on snowmobiles. It is torture.

tinker said...

Oh these photos are so cool, Kate - how awesome it must have been to see all this in real life. Wow, one wonderful trip on top of another! Thank you for sharing them. I hope you bring back some photos of the next trip too!