Monday, June 2, 2014

Yellowstone: June 2, Monday (Part 2 of 2) Moose Calf

On the way back from Cody, we saw cars topped and big cameras set up. So, of course we stopped to see what was happening.

One of the best ways to spot wildlife in Yellowstone is to look for where the people are stopped, especially if the big cameras are there.

We looked at the island and all around and didn't see a thing.

I asked one of the people, Don Gettywith a big camera "whatcha lookin' at?"

He replied, "There's a moose out there with her calf that's nine days old." She had the calf on the island where it's safe from wolves and bears. But, since then the water rose and the calf can't make it to the other side."

On the first day that the mother and calf tried to make it across, the currents carried it past the island. Everyday since then, they've tried but the calf isn't strong enough to swim against the current.

They were waiting for the moose and calf to wake up for their naps and try again.

He continued, "Wildlife photographers have to be patient." And, said that if we want to photograph wildlife, stop when we see the big cameras.

After he pointed them out, I could see the moose's ears and the calf's reddish brown body in the weeds.

While we waited for them to wake up, Elwin visited with the other photographers and I listened to Don Getty and Dan Swart talk about their recent photography adventures, photographing wild horses, trying to photography coyote pups that didn't appear, about the sow with 3 cubs and the bighorn sheep lambs at Tower Junction.

Then a raven flew towards to calf, who had woken up and was just standing around. The mother was up and charged the raven in a blink of an eye, before we could get our cameras in position.

At few minutes passed before the calf began nursing.

Then the mother and calf checked out the river.

before starting across.

The river got deeper

and the calf returned to the island.

The mother followed and waited. They tried again, taking a different path.

The crowd cheered for him, encouraging him on.

But, again he returned to the island.

Bravely, he tried a third time.

The crowd cheered and encouraged him as he struggled against the current and drew closer to the other side.

But, the depth of the river and the current we're too much and he turned back.

His mother tried to encourage him for a fourth try. But he wouldn't leave the island.

And, his mother crossed to the other side, to graze while keeping an eye on him. And, he stood standing, alone, watching her,

He has to make it soon, before a storm makes the river deeper and stronger. And, before . . . the wolves and bears find him.

On the way back, we saw more bighorn sheep.

We finished our Cody food, then exhausted crawled into bed. Moose watching is hard work.

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