July 31, 2011
Just down the road from the bison, we came to another wildlife jam. Tourists were standing on a hill and pointing their cameras toward Hayden Valley. We parked and joined the group to see what we could see.
We watched until the trio disappeared into a shadowed gulch.
July 29, 2011
We watched him until he entered the trees, then went on our way again.
We were exhausted after all the wildlife watching and picture taking we'd done while driving through the park. And we'd only been in Yellowstone for a few hours.
When we arrived at the lodge at dark, we were glad to have a tiny Rough Rider cabin waiting for us.
July 28, 2011
Yellowstone National Park consists of 2 million acres, and only about 200 miles of roads. The wilderness is vast!
Yellowstone Lake, located at 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level, covers 136 square miles with 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. Its deepest spot is at least 390 feet. Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America.The lake freezes by early December (except for hot spots on its southern shore) and can remain frozen until early June.
Lehardy Rapids is downstream from Yellowstone Lake. In early summer, we have seen at least a Yellowstone cutthroat trout a minute jumping over the rapids, heading to Yellowstone Lake tributaries to spawn. This time, we see only a few trout hanging out in backwater eddies. Lake trout, introduced into Yellowstone Lake at some point in the past, eat young cutthroats in the lake. The population growth of this non-native species has dramatically reduced cutthroat numbers between Yellowstone Falls and the lake over the last ten years.
July 27, 2011
At the northern end of the Grand Teton National Park, we came to our first animal-related traffic jam. People don't seem to mind traffic jams of this kind. Mostly, they just park and get out their binoculars, spotter scopes, and cameras, often hugely expensive models with foot-long lenses attached.
July 22, 2011
Butterflies and bees were out in force, flitting from bloom to bloom:
|West Coast Lady|
|Western Tiger Swallowtail|
July 21, 2011
On June 21, our last trip to the area, most of the mountain was still covered with snow. One month later, many wildflowers have already bloomed.
Growing on the rocky slopes,we found:
|Lewisia family (same as bitterroot)|
|bluebells and buttercups|
|Jacob's ladder (Polemonium)|
July 19, 2011
Later we see both golden eagle parents, but they fly away too quickly for a photo.