Day 5: Yellowstone in Winter 2013 - "Golden" Opportunities

February 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

We started this morning with breakfast at..... (you know where!). The skies were partly cloudy and expected to be partly cloudy/sunny all day.

 

We started out to the Park around 7:45am. We proceed west through Lamar (no wildlife along the way except for bison). We arrive in Lamar Valley and come across a coyote (with his mate) who just woke up.... we got some cool images of him yawning and stretching. His mate was in the sage brush and we left before she appeared. It is our understanding after we left, he was trying some hanky panky with her but she wasn't in the mood.

 

While we were photographing the coyotes, we heard the beauty of wolf howls. They appeared to be coming from the west so we hightailed it westward. We came across the wolf watchers but they lost the signal and surmised the wolves they were following went North. They were not aware of the howls we heard. They suspected it was 755M and his new mate. We were told there were some bull elk on the hill in Lamar but they went over the ridge before we arrived. 

 

We stopped at the Yellowstone picnic area and we were surrounded by bison. I got a beautiful image of a bison with a snowy face and he turned towards the light at the right time. Snap!. We were told of a big horn ram at the next pullout so off we go. We pull in and there is this beautiful big horn ram with the perfect pose in perfect morning light by a tree with a mountain background.. and I am looking at this scene and staying, "OMG, thats perfect"... I admired too long and by the time I started to get out and photograph this scene, he moved..... I kicked myself all day for the missed "Golden" opportunity. I am sure when I am back in June and see that tree, I will kick myself more......

 

We proceeded westward and only saw cow elk and bison. We stopped at the Wraith Falls pull out and spoke with two other photogs who saw and took photos of the two alphas of the Blacktail wolf pack when they crossed the road. We missed them by an hour or so (figures....) 

 

We then proceeded back East and saw nothing  (did some landscapes) until we were back in Lamar Valley.  We were photographing a big horn ram when a photographer told us that the Blacktail Pack brought down a elk cow  by Undine Falls (way off the road) but it might be worthwhile to check out. So we go back west to Undine Falls but all the wolf watchers were gone. We were told the Pack ate their meal and bedded down.

 

Then we were told about a coyote at Blacktail Lakes. We found him with Ralph's help but he was far out. We drive on and a coyote is walking up the road right at us. We brake and left him move by safety. Nothing significant on the way back to Lamar. We drive by the elk carcass and there is a Golden eagle feeding on it! I decided to do some "drive by shooting" and snapped a few pics of the Golden eagle. This was, IMHO, a Golden hit! (pun intended).

 

We headed east with our hotel in Cooke City as the destination but we stopped along the way to do some landscape photography with evening light. The image in this blog is some "snow pillows" we found.

 

As we are driving out of the Park, it started snowing heavily (remember that partly cloudy/sunny) forecast? We come across a accident, the truck doing some National Geographic work in the Park slid off the road and was tilted sideways. There were two rangers and a tow truck there. The roads were slippery from the fresh snow.

 

So, overall, a "slower day" for us vs. the previous 4 days but still a good day as we got many images we never had before!


Tomorrow is Day 6. We are moving out base of operations to Gardiner for the final two nights in preparation for our departure Saturday am

 

Stay tuned for Day 6!

 

 


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