Monday, June 16, 2014

Yellowstone: June 16, Monday Bloated Bison

My grandfather was a rancher and when he knew that one of his cows was bloated, he punctured to let the gas escape. If he didn't, the cow died.

Last night one of the bison in Lamar Valley became bloated. We were told that while it's calf tried nursing, the other bison gathered around it until it was beyond protecting.

Until this year, one wolf pack specialized in attacking bison calves. Other than that the elk, not the bison, are the preferred prey.

However, the deceased bison provided feasts to grizzly bears, wolves, and ravens while also providing lots of photo opportunities for tourists (in between rain/hail/snow).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yellowstone: June 14 Saturday Hayden Valley

The snow's melting, although it has been hailing today and is the coldest it's been since we've been here.

The bisons' loose winter cost blows in the wind.

And, today Mule took his first pictures of the black and of the white wolf and watched them play.

Now he has taken at least I one picture of all of the "celebrity" mammals: moose, elk, bison, grizzly bear, black bear, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and wolf!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Yellowstone: June 12, Thursday Hayden Valley

It was supposed to rain, so we decided to do laundry. I put the quarters In two machines and turned them on.

Thirty minutes later, I returned to put the clothes in the dryer and discovered that one of the machines hadn't turned all the way on. I started it Nd put the other Los in the dryer.

Thirty minutes later, I removed the delayed load from the washer and put them in a second dryer.

My first load finished, we folded them and then waited for the second load. When Mule returned to check them, he discovered that the heating element was broken and the clothes weren't drying. Management returned our money and we restarted the. In another dryer. End result was that laundry took 3 hours

in the meantime, I decided to transfer Mule's pictures from the IPad to the Surface Pro. They consisted of three albums that I hadn't edited at all and one alb lim of bear pictures that included 2 pictures that I had cropped. I copied them to the Surface Pro then deleted them for the IPad. The IPad is only 64 GB and doesn't have a recycle bin.

Next I went back to the Surface Pro to admire the picture bear coming coming out of the river with a fish in its mouth and the one of the bear sitting in the bank, looking out at the river. I learned that the album with edited pictures had not copied. There were no backups.

So, from now on, everything is copied to the Surface Pro then copied to the IPad. Hard lesson to learn. Mule is less upset than me. But it had taken him most of yesterday to take the pictures.

The bison had lost much of their winter coat.

We don't know why the cow and calf were standing in the river while the rest of the herd was grazing nearby

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yellowstone June 11 Wednesday Hayden Valley

Our first find of the day was

Meanwhile, a herd of elk and their calves were grazing on a peninsula.

A grizzly bear saw them and chased them into the river. It then separated one of the calves from its mother. The calf couldn't out swim the bear. The bear pounced on it and drowned it.

It dragged the carcass back to the peninsula and laid down on it. The whole sequence of events took about twenty minutes.

The elk mother returned, but it was too late and she left again.

Sometimes he slept on the carcass. Sometimes he ate it.,,Sometimes he stood up, as if to stretch. And, sometimes he looked across the river.

where one white and one black wolf darted at the tree line, maybe lusting after his treasure.

At the end of the day, his feast was gone and he reentered the river.

Climbed up the hill.

And disappeared into the trees.

On our way back to camp, we saw our first find was still in the same pond of water.

Yellowstone June 10 Tuesday. Lake Overlook to Upper Geyser Basin

We got up at 6:00 to go to Lake Overview to see the courting grizzlies. Enroute, we saw


While there we saw "Steam Boat"


As you can see there is no mention of seeing grizzlies. From Lake Overlook, we drove to Grant Village then Old Faithful. I went on a tour of the inn, then looked in at the empty rooms.

Looking into the dining room.

Looking across the lobby.

There's a distinct break between the original rooms and the add-ones.

After I snooped around the inn, we watched Old Faithful erupt,

walked around Upper Geyser. Morning Glory at the end of the path,mused to be my favorite. Not so much now. The temperature of the various areas of each pool determines the algae, bacteria, etc. that live there. Fue to people growing objects in the pools, the temperatures have dropped and many of the pools look rusted out.

Now Blue Sappahire, although small, is my favorite. It's at the beginning of the path.

Grand Geyser only erupts 1 to 50 times per year, but at times is the tallest geyser see in the world. It erupted about a 1/2 hour after we passed it. Grand Geyser below

We took the bike path back from Morning Glory and collapsed into chairs in the Old Faithful Inn. After lunch, we returned to Canyon and recharged our electronics.

Yellowstone June 9, Monday Nez Perce

We did laundry then spent the day at Nez Perce.

After dinner, we went to the latest reported place where the grizzly bears were hanging out. They had left of course. But, we saw

on the way back to camp. The ranger said that it was his first beaver jam. He also said that the grizzly bears are courting out by Butte Lake Overview, past Fishing Bridge and that we need to be there by 7 in the morning. guess where we're going tomorrow?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Yellowstone June 8, Sunday Hayden Valley

Maybe the animals are celebrating the Sabbath. They were absent from the Hayden Valley area all day, with the exception of a couple of isolated bison. Unless the bison are in a majestic scenic area, we've became a little bored with them.

Mule wants wolf and more grizzly bear pictures. The problem is that the Yellowstone wolves are most active in morning twilight and that means getting up really early and then hoping that in the thousands of available acres, they'll chose to be by the road where we are. Bears are at least active at both ends of the day.

Last night we were sitting just north of Alumn Creek, waiting to see if anything interesting happened. Some one said that two grizzly bears were sighted just to the south around the corner. We drove there and squeezed into a vacated spot in the parking lot. I parked the car, got out, and we were told, "They went further south."

We and all the other cars took off to the south, reparked, and got out to look of the bears, theoretically a sow with a juvenile (cub that's a year old - not yet two years).

I looked where everyone pointed and could see the two dots moving on the distant ridge Even with my camera at 300mm (480 with the .6 crop factor), they were just dots. Bah Humbug! We've heard more reports of sows and cubs being by the road, close enough to kiss. Ya! That's what we want.

Hayden Valley below:

This is the bear that my camera saw with extreme cropping. Looks like Yogi Bear to me :)