August 17, 2023
Yellowstone Nationwide Park was my favourite of all of the parks we visited throughout our spring RV journey by way of the West. Why? As a result of the wildlife-watching there may be epic! That’s my favourite factor to do, way over climbing, which I’m all the time a bit of nervous about in grizzly nation anyway. Give me a telephoto lens and a panorama stuffed 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 may ever tire of Yellowstone.
Partially 1 of my Yellowstone posts from our go to in mid-Might, I confirmed a grizzly encounter and geysers. Half 2 was all about bison: calves frolicking, cows wallowing, and herds blocking visitors. This publish, half 3, covers all the opposite wildlife I used to be excited to see.
We had been thrilled to identify a moose someday, as she browsed amid fallen bushes and grasses. Deer had been nosing round too (within the background).
Solely round 200 moose dwell in Yellowstone, and they’re huge, weighing about 1,000 kilos.
We drove by way of scenic Hayden Valley practically on daily basis, coming and going to our campsite in Fishing Village.
In mid-Might, it’s nonetheless snowy in Yellowstone, though daytime temperatures had been comfy in a lightweight jacket.
Sandhill crane (thanks for the ID, Dorothy!)
The Lamar Valley within the northeast nook of the park is a favourite of wildlife watchers like myself. We obtained up nicely earlier than daybreak to succeed in the valley within the early morning, for the reason that Tower Fall Street between our campsite at Fishing Bridge and the Lamar Valley doesn’t open till late Might. We needed to drive a loooooong method round, as much as Mammoth Scorching Springs after which again round, to succeed in the valley.
Wildlife abounds right here. While you see a gaggle of individuals with huge lenses out, you already know 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 had been nonetheless the beneficial distance — a soccer area — away. I feel.
It’s thrilling to see a grizzly, however don’t lose your head and attempt to get too shut.
You possibly can determine a grizzly by the hump between its shoulders, dished-in face between eyes and snout, spherical ears, and generally 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 searching 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 ponder what they had been taking a look at. Wolves? We hoped to see wolves however weren’t so fortunate on this journey.
Black bears dwell 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 could be different colours than black, so don’t go by that alone.
They’re additionally smaller than grizzlies, though that may be onerous to evaluate when seen at a distance.
One final valley view
On our final day we drove to see Yellowstone Falls and made quick 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 enjoying, wallowing, and blocking visitors at Yellowstone, half 2, click on right here.
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