July 28, 2011

Yellowstone Tourist Pleasers

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.   
A handsome pelican puts on a show for the tourists.  He perches on a rock close to shore, occasionally scratching his head with a webbed foot or yawning as he waits for dinner to swim by. 
A spider makes a meal of a caddis fly on the tourist boardwalk.  I think we are the only ones who notice this gruesome, if small and unobtrusive, sight.
Further downstream, a lone bison bull lumbers along the Yellowstone River. 
A wily coyote hunts for rodents near the road.  Here, he looks like a trickster, as Native American folklore depicts him.
But here, he looks like the stalwart, honest fellow that we'll assume he is.


  1. Mercy! We didn't see things like this when we were there. Lucky you. It is such beautiful country.

    Pop by to read about our trips this whole week ... I wish we ere professional photographers or had a better camera to capture as beautifully as do you.

    Awesome share.

    TTFN ~
    Have a great weekend.

  2. I'll be riding up into West Yellowstone next weekend (8/6). Am quite delighted to be heading up that way... :)

  3. This is wonderful Janie, great post - we're hoping to head for Yellowstone and the Grand Teton in August/early September. Keeping our fingers crossed that this all pans out.

  4. We're definitely going to have to get to Yellowstone. I like your first picture of the lake. The coyote definitely looks much more stalwart in that second picture.

  5. How beautiful! I can't believe it's almost two years since Mike and I visited Yellowstone. There was so much we didn't get to see because of the wildfire and road closures. Now you've stirred that desire to visit again! Really, really like that first image of Yellowstone Lake.

  6. Great post and I like all the picures but am partial to that penguin and the coyote.

  7. Wow, 2 million acres of wilderness. How awesome. You capture all so well on camera, Janie. For me here on the other side of the world, I love sharing your area through your blog. Have a great weekend. Blessings, Jo

  8. I want to go back to Yellowstone some day... what a fascinating place.

    Bison are one of the most unlikely-looking of creatures. :)

  9. You've captured great photos of the wildlife and wilderness, Janie - one of my favorite places.

  10. Pretty awesome. I didn't know it was so high, nor have I ever been ... someday.

  11. YOu got to see a coyote???? SO cool.
    We loved yellowstone. I remembered learning about the trout vs cutthroat. (again, something bad we humans did by bringing in non native critters!)
    I was so surprised to see pelicans in this area as well...they get around. :)

  12. Great pics, and I especially like old Wil E. Coyote. They're having it tough since the wolves moved into the 'hood!

  13. wow..amazing place..yellowstone is on top of my list of places in north america to visit...alongwith alaska!!


  14. what does Daisy think of all this wild life? great photos...

  15. More awesome wildlife! You too look for the big and the small.



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