Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yellowstone: June 5, Thursday. Hayden Valley and the Coyote

Today was housekeeping day. It took all day to do laundry and charge our electronics at the laundromat then to go to Canyon Lounge and update the blog. The cellular update is so slow that I purchased wifi usage from the lodge registration desk. It's also available from the dining room hostess.

It was about 5:00 when we finished so we returned to the two viewpoint south of Alumn Creek to see if the wolfs or bears were out. Two grizzlies were playing back at the tree line, out of range for the camera. No wolves in site.

But, on the view point over the hill, on the other side of Trout Lake, cars were packed up and seemed to be staying, so we went there.

I walked up to a lady with a camera, from Arkansas, and asked, "whatcha lookin a."

She replied, "A coyote pounced and was mouthing on something. I think it must be an elk calf because the bison aren't responding. Then it came out with its side bulging." And, she showed me a picture of it with it's sides about to burst.

By then the coyote was running away from the site and a bit aways.

A lady with a camera said that she expected other predators, such as the wolves or bears, to come and feast on the carcass. The bison and elk herds in the direction that the coyote ran didn't appear nervous. An elk on top of the hill kept looking down and around. Some people thought she might have her calf near her and be watching out. Maybe she was the mother of the calf that the coyote pounced on.

Meanwhile, a raven kept diving into the bushes and helping himself to the feast.

(The little elk are cute and I hope it didn't suffer. On the other hand, if the elk aren't preyed on, there isn't enough food for all the moose, elk, bighorn sheep, etc. and starvation sets in.)

Then two coyotes started down the path that the other coyote had taken when he left.

They continued until a flock of ducks took off. That spooked one of the coyotes enough that he took off at a run. The other lingered, looking at the kill site.

But, eventually headed back over the hill towards the Alumn Creek site. We waited around in case the wolves or bears showed up. It was getting too dark for the cameras, people were leaving. Then when lady with a camera left, we also packed up and went back to Canyon Village.

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