I must admit that I thought that all Black Bears were actually black – what a concept! Obviously I was wrong as proven by this cinnamon colored “black” bear. I was coming around a corner in a driving rain storm when I hit a “Bear jam” on the road. I immediately parked and ran to the center of attention, just in time to see this bear running across the road and start up a hill. I managed to click off a few shots as he ran up the hill. The light wasn’t good, the rain was coming down, and the wind made handheld shots very difficult but I did get at least this shot of the mis-colored bear.
I did see several actual Brown (Grizzly) Bears, but all at great distances. I wasn’t too disappointed in that as our trip to Alaska is coming up quickly…..
Another of the frequent sightings in Yellowstone are the Pronghorns. You often see them in small groups like this one but you can also find them in pairs or even solitary animals. The park is a great place for them as there are no fences that they need to go around or dig under (they are poor jumpers). They seem to like the wide open areas where they have clear sight lines and room to run away from any predators. I liked this scene because it captures the animals in their environment and also a hint of the park’s majestic scenery.
One of the highlights of Yellowstone is not only seeing the Buffalo but being able to get pretty close. The park rules say that you should stay 25 yards away from them but even if you start at that distance, they sometimes will wander closer. It is very easy to forget that these peaceful looking creatures are wild and can, at times, be unpredictable. It is also hard to imagine that they can actually run at up to 35 miles an hour! If you are not careful, you can find yourself totally engulfed within the herd. It is really interesting to watch them interact with each other and also listen to their various verbal grunts and groans. This fine looking specimen was one of the lead animals in a large herd which just kept coming towards me and some other photographers until we were finally forced back onto the road and into our cars…..
…and the sky is not cloudy all day…
Well, not exactly. In my four days at Yellowstone I saw a few sunny times as shown in today’s photo but I saw much more time in the rain, snow, and hail – all pretty much to be expected this time of year. In any case, this is a pretty typical sight that you see around the park – Bison (aka Buffalo) grazing in the fields. You can see large herds, just a few together (as in this shot), or lone bulls by themselves. It certainly is a reminder of days gone by as these huge creatures used to roam the west in great numbers.
You also have to stay alert as you drive around the park as the Buffalo seem to understand that they have the “right of way”. This is another frequent sight – traffic jams caused by casual Buffalo crossings.
Just got back off my Yellowstone road trip and found this week’s challenge. It was a little surprise as I’ve spent a good deal of time in the last several days in snow storms and pretty cold weather. As you might guess, I was up there to try to get some photos of the wide variety of wildlife within that gorgeous park. One of the frequent sightings are elk -either in groups or by themselves. I chose to use this shot for the challenge as it shows a pretty good view of this elk who was resting by one of the beautiful Yellowstone rivers. Why is this appropriate for the challenge? If you look at its fur, you can see that it is shedding its thick winter coat to get ready for…..Summer.
I’ll have a lot more about the trip later (as well as many more photos) but wanted to get my entry in.
Yesterday an eclipse, today an American icon. I waited pretty much the full 88 minutes between eruptions but it was worth it. I had been to Yellowstone once before (about 15 years ago) but had never seen it “go”. Pretty spectacular.
I didn’t think I’d get a chance to post today but found a motel with wifi. I had totally forgotten about the eclipse tonight but saw it on TV while I was having dinner. I grabbed my camera when I got back to the motel, added some dark filters and managed to get this image – not great, but a cool image of something I totally blew off….. 🙂