Friday, November 13, 2009

Grizzlies and Black Bears and more

Each season brings new wildlife and wildflower sightings in Yellowstone. Above is a grizzly, in the spring. Photo was taken out the window opening of my car. The Black Bear and cub below were photographed in early July during a visit from my cousins. We saw more wildlife in one day, during their visit, than I usually see in a week or two. They were impressed, but may still think it was normal for me.

Spring is late in Yellowstone, so Indian Paintbrush is still blooming in August, long after its season would be over in coastal northern California where I knew it as a kid.

The cow elk, in June is with her young calf, not more than a day or two old.

The marmot lived under the cabin I used two nights a week at Old Faithful

The bison rut starts in August. Usually there is a lot of grunting and close attention of males to females and shows of aggression toward any other male who comes close. Most times, one of the males backs off. This scene included a battle.

This Everts (or Elk) Thistle is named for a member of an early expedition into the Yellowstone territory. Lost from the rest of his party and having failed to secure his horse before climbing a lookout point, he had only a knife and spotting scope for survival. When found, he was barely alive and hallucinating. His diet had consisted mainly of these thistles.
Employees in the late 60s and 70s had to try them. Turns out they have no hallucinogenic properties.

A curious pronghorn watches me from a distance. On the right, a cow moose and her twin calves frequented an area just outside the east entrance of the park. I saw them there several times when I made trips to Cody to shop. The nearest grocery store, other than a few basic items at the camp stores in the park, was 80 miles away. Perhaps not very convenient, but how many shoppers get to see moose, grizzlies, Sandhill Cranes, and eagles on their way to the market?

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