Friday, 16 June 2017

Yellowstone National Park Part two......

Coyote hunting in meadows


Tuesday 13th June
Well it snowed on and off all night and was bitterly cold, we’re at 7500 feet here at Norris campground and the trees and meadows had a light dusting of snow this morning.
A quiet day was planned and we drove out to West Yellowstone just out of the national park to fill up with Propane for the heating and cooking, get some more groceries and of course top up with fuel which usually costs me about 70 dollars a hit!
We dawdled back, stopping off at various favourite spots along the Madison river and then went off up toward Old Faithful to photograph some of the geysers.
The cold weather made them look steamier and more impressive but when I went to photograph them they were just a mass of steam with no colour or depth.
We left Madison junction at about 4 pm and headed back to the campground until we met a queue of traffic…… as we rounded a bend I saw some people with binoculars and cameras so just managed to slot into a good roadside pull in and we walked up the road some 100 yards to see what was going on.
A female Grizzly with 2 cubs was across the river in amongst some fallen trees. We could just see her and when I got the 500 ml lens on her I got a couple of shots of the cubs and a few poor ones of Mama.
Seems she’d been feasting on an Elk carcass and was now spending time digesting so not a lot of action!
We watched them for about half an hour until she moved farther into the woods and was out of sight.
When we left the traffic jam coming down the hill towards us was about 2 miles long!
A classic “Bear jam!”
Got back to the campground and rustled up 2 huge steaks on the BBQ but had to eat them in the camper as it was still bitterly cold. A Park Ranger called around and told us about a talk he was giving and said that it was going to be below freezing again tonight….13th June!
Seriously considering heading south into Utah and Colorado in a couple of days.

Grizzly bear cub

Wednesday 14th June
Last evening after I’d updated my blog… there was a Coyote hunting in the meadows directly in front of our campsite. We watched him for about half an hour but still didn’t see him catch anything.
Took another trip down the Lamar valley this morning but no sign of the wolves we saw a few days back. Plenty of buffalo and a single Coyote that decided it was easier walking in the road instead of the sage brush. I think it was a young one as it looked much smaller than the one at the Norris meadows last evening.
Called into Mammoth Hot Springs on the way back and got a few pics of the Elk grazing on the lawns in the centre of town. There were a couple of females with young but too many people clamouring around them for me to bother.
We had a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the meadow at the campsite this evening and I managed a couple of shots of them as they circled the marsh calling in their own inimitable way.

Coyote hunting in meadows

Coyote hunting in meadows


Coyote on the road in the Lamar valley


Sandhill Crane

Thursday 15th June
I was out early..ish to photograph some Northern Flickers (woodpeckers) which were nesting nearby, in fact I found 3 nests in the campground including one pair in a tree just 20 feet from another nest. Tree Swallows were also nesting in an old woodpecker nest just 1 metre below the Flickers.
We left Yellowstone this morning as it was getting very crowded and also quite cold and decided to head South toward Utah and hopefully some warmth.
A long day of driving down through Yellowstone, into Grand Teton and then about 200 miles south across the high plains down to Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Booked in to the KOA and had a bloody good shower! Linda completed the laundry whilst I got a couple of steaks on the BBQ.

Male Northern Flicker

Female Northern Flicker

Female Northern Flicker