The next morning, our first full day in Yellowstone, we arose early and drove south on the Grand Loop for an expansive view of flower-festooned Antelope Valley.
The flowers (I think they're showy goldeneye) turned the hills gold in the morning sun. We didn't spot a bear or other wildlife, so we continued south toward Hayden Valley where we've often seen the bison herd crossing the road in the morning. They tend to bed down along the Yellowstone River at night, then leisurely make their way across the road to the rolling hills of Hayden Valley.
Sure enough, a part of the herd was there, causing the usual traffic jam as they took their time hogging the road and observing the tourists. No one seemed to mind the wait.
A few people risked falling out of cars to snap photos.
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.
A grizzly sow with two cubs! They were perhaps 300 yards away, but easily visible with binoculars or the camera zoom. Mama was teaching the fine art of digging yampa roots and hunting rodents.
One cub stuck close to mom.
The other didn't seem concerned until he fell behind considerably. Then he hurried to catch up.
We watched until the trio disappeared into a shadowed gulch.
On the other side of our viewing hill, undisturbed by humans or bears, a group of Canada geese swam in a regimented line along a small tributary of the Yellowstone River.