"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wolves-Icons Of Yellowstone

The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is one of the most noteworthy conservation success stories of recent times.  We spent a fair amount of time looking for wolves while in the park this summer and I am happy to say we enjoyed a number of sightings.  On June 11 we encountered the pack known as the Lamar's, where else but in the Lamar Valley...


It was exciting to see so many wolves together.  They were heading down the valley towards the Buffalo Ranch and we were fortunate to be in a good viewing position...


As they came closer to the road I was able to zoom in on individual animals and pairs.  Still, these photos are heavily cropped and taken under difficult lighting conditions...

 
 
 
The pack members kept looking back to check on the location of  the other wolves...
 
 
When they lost sight of each other they often howled to locate the rest of the pack...
 
 
As one might imagine, having so many wolves within sight of the road caused many people to pull over for a better look.  I enjoy taking photos of wildlife, but it is almost as enjoyable to share a sighting with someone who may have never seen a wolf before...
 
 
The next day we joined a number of people at the "foot bridge" turn out to see if the Lamar pack would reappear.  We spotted one in the distance as it climbed a hill...
 
 
A few minutes later a wolf was spotted much closer and heading our way...
 
 
This was the alpha female of the Lamar's... 
 
 
 She used the hiker footbridge instead of swimming the river...
 
 
The following day we returned to the valley and found a wolf crossing the river to get to a bison carcass...
 
 
When a bison or elk dies in the park it seldom goes to waste...
 
 
 
Wolves, coyotes, ravens, bears and eagles all take advantage...
 
 
We happened upon a similar scenario while passing through the Hayden Valley a few days later.  A dead bison near the Yellowstone River was being fed upon...
 
 
 
 
It was warm and the wolf enjoyed the cool water of the river...
 
 
One of the most exciting encounters we had was when a lone wolf was chasing a pronghorn in the Lamar Valley...
 
 
There was no chance the wolf could catch a healthy pronghorn but it was dramatic to watch them run out of view...
 
 
 
Suddenly the wolf appeared about forty yards from where we were...
 
 
She probably intended to cross the road but decided against it because of all the humans present...
 
 
We looked for wolves in the Teton's but were not successful.  The scenery and solitude were our ample reward...
 
 
Thanks for reading and sharing this blog.
Be well and come back soon.
 
 

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