September is a special time in Yellowstone. The crowds are reduced and more mellow. The bison rut is diminishing while the elk rut gets underway. The air is rent with the sound of elk bugling as dominant males call together their harems.
Leaves and late season blossom are edged with frost. Small geo-thermal features, hardly noticeable in warmer air, are now obvious. The water of Yellowstone Lake, exceeds the morning air temperature, creating spectacular fogs along the Yellowstone River.
The end of the season was bittersweet. I have made the decision not to return next year. It was an incredible four years; I have made great friends, I have made Yellowstone my back yard, and I have regained my interest in photography which became almost nil after Lin died. I have made the transition to digital, I love going out with my camera again, and I am learning new skills. Thank you Doug (Doug Hilborn, fellow photo guide in Yellowstone) for that tour in 2008 that re-sparked my interest and for your support in my becoming your co-photo guide.........OKAY! for doing "YOUR" tours on your days off! I worked for a great department, had a wonderful boss, was impressed by the level and commitment to training the guides, had fun driving the classy 30's vintage bus, seeing grizzlies and ospreys, elk, marmots, eagles, white pelicans, wildflowers, geysers, waterfalls. I enjoyed watching the scenery and wildlife change as the seasons moved from spring to fall as I toured early in the morning, or went exploring on my days off,. Fellow employees and park regulars shared information on where things were happening. Thanks to Wim, the other photo guide, for reminding me to "play" with my camera, zooming while the shutter is open, or lying on the ground looking up.
And while I won't be back next year, I know I will be back for visits and possibly to work again some day, when I get the wanderlust out of my system. My boss, Rob, assures me that I would be welcomed back. The photo guide position, working between two locations, might not be available, but there is room for me in a driving\guiding position.
Here are a few more September images. A visit by some members of my old Diablo Valley Camera Club was special and many of these were made during that visit. Special people, special time.
Canada Goose feather on frosted log. Click to enlarge to see better
Bison hair caught on vegetation.
Small hot spring near Mud Volcano. The foggy effect is a combination of steam from the hot water in the hot spring and fog above the Yellowstone River in the distant background. Chris and I got up early on the last day the camera club group was visiting and photographed the beautiful sunrise lighting.