August 17, 2023
Yellowstone Nationwide Park was my favourite of all of the parks we visited throughout our spring RV journey via the West. Why? As a result of the wildlife-watching there’s epic! That’s my favourite factor to do, excess of climbing, which I’m all the time a bit nervous about in grizzly nation anyway. Give me a telephoto lens and a panorama filled with animals I’d by no means in any other case see, dwelling in their very own habitat (it’s not a zoo or protect — this can be a wild place), and I’m undecided I might ever tire of Yellowstone.
Partly 1 of my Yellowstone posts from our go to in mid-Could, I confirmed a grizzly encounter and geysers. Half 2 was all about bison: calves frolicking, cows wallowing, and herds blocking site visitors. This submit, half 3, covers all the opposite wildlife I used to be excited to see.
We have been thrilled to identify a moose sooner or later, as she browsed amid fallen timber and grasses. Deer have been nosing round too (within the background).
Solely round 200 moose reside in Yellowstone, and they’re large, weighing about 1,000 kilos.
We drove via scenic Hayden Valley almost daily, coming and going to our campsite in Fishing Village.
In mid-Could, it’s nonetheless snowy in Yellowstone, though daytime temperatures have been comfy in a lightweight jacket.
The Lamar Valley within the northeast nook of the park is a favourite of wildlife watchers like myself. We received up effectively earlier than daybreak to achieve the valley within the early morning, because the Tower Fall Street between our campsite at Fishing Bridge and the Lamar Valley doesn’t open till late Could. We needed to drive a loooooong means round, as much as Mammoth Sizzling Springs after which again round, to achieve the valley.
Wildlife abounds right here. Once you see a gaggle of individuals with large lenses out, you understand there’s one thing to see.
On this case, it was grizzly bears. One was within the willows fairly far-off.
It quickly got here nearer, though we have been nonetheless the really helpful distance — a soccer subject — away. I feel.
It’s thrilling to see a grizzly, however don’t lose your head and attempt to get too shut.
You’ll be able to determine a grizzly by the hump between its shoulders, dished-in face between eyes and snout, spherical ears, and typically a grizzled (silvery) forged to its again fur.
The bear wandered away…
…again to the willows…
…the place I seen one other grizzly taking a nap!
We additionally noticed a coyote.
And Canada geese
A watchful Uinta floor squirrel
A pronghorn looking beside the street
A shaggy mule deer
Up on a ridge, a herd of bighorn sheep grazed and saved watch, presenting their distinctive curled-horn profiles.
I’m wondering what they have been . Wolves? We hoped to see wolves however weren’t so fortunate on this journey.
Black bears reside in Yellowstone too, and we noticed a number of.
This was Meadow Bear, as we dubbed it.
This blurry picture is of Napping Bear, conked out beneath a tree under a bridge.
And that is Woods Bear.
Black bears differ from grizzlies of their straight-lined snout (no dished-in profile), taller and pointier ears, and no hump between their shoulders. They might be different colours than black, so don’t go by that alone.
They’re additionally smaller than grizzlies, though that may be laborious to guage when seen at a distance.
One final valley view
On our final day we drove to see Yellowstone Falls and made brief hikes to the overlooks.
That is thundering Decrease Falls.
Throughout the chasm, I checked out this iced-in, vertiginous stair traversing a cliff, with melting-snow waterfalls plunging beneath it, and thought, Nope.
Discovering a house on the sting
A raven dropped down on the cliff’s edge and simply as rapidly soared again over the canyon.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in all its yellow-stone splendor.
Goodbye, Yellowstone! I hope it’s not one other 23 years till I see you once more.
Up subsequent: Majestic mountains and extra wildlife-watching at Grand Teton Nationwide Park. For a glance again at bison taking part in, wallowing, and blocking site visitors at Yellowstone, half 2, click on right here.
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