2013 MPEG YNP/GTNP Groupshoot - Day 5 : June 6, 2013

June 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Day 5

 

I am so exhausted from today's Park photo ventures, I can "bearly" keep my eyes open....  

As I mentioned yesterday, today could be completely the opposite from Wednesday and it was....

We started out today at 5:15 am from Cooke City. It was 34F so warmer from yesterday's 25F start. We saw some elk cows grazing in early morning light. Moving through Lamar Valley which was quiet...moving on towards Mammoth and then I suggested we go to Swan Lake Flats and see if Quad Mom was around and sure enough, she was about 3/4 mile away (but I could easily watch her with 700mm). She chased some elk into the woods, came back out, went back in. Elk cows were running around, looking into the woods..... really fun to watch. I spoke with a couple from Utah and they told me Quad Mom yesterday chased down an elk calf, "slapped her to the ground" and the calf's mom started hitting Quad Mom with her front hoofs, kicking her which caused Quad Mom to back off.. the calf got up shaken but not hurt. She saved their baby this time. This all played out 50-100 yrds from them. He showed me images he took. Amazing... and I missed that.  Hard to be everywhere at one time in this park.

We then headed back towards Lamar and heard on our walkie talkie about a bear jam near Floating Island lake so we hustled over there. We also heard on the walkie talkie that someone stepped in a hole there and dislocated their hip and an ambulance was on the way... By the time we got there, the ambulance was gone but the black bear mom and her COY (cub of the year) were still there and put on a show! I have images of her nursing her cub, holding her cub in their "arms", playing with her cub, etc. Absolutely fascinating to watch and photograph.  

We left there, went over to Lamar and then proceeded to Peeble Creek and came across a beautiful cinnamon bear grazing right by the road and a huge traffic jam. After snapping a few pics of her, we headed back to Lamar and I radioed my photog buddy Jim and told him about this bear .. and he informed me about a NEW bear jam with a black bear and her two cinnamon cubs by Petrified Tree. So we hightail over there and spend 2.5 hours photographing those bears... playing, nursing, posing by tree (see post image), and the coolest photo is a family portrait picture. You couldn't have posed them any better.... Just amazing .. again.....

We then headed back to Mammoth, got a late lunch to go and went back to Swan lake Flats but no luck. While in Mammoth, we saw several people over by the visitor center with cameras but we didn't ask what was going on. It turned out an elk calf was being born and one of our members took images of the event and images of the calf's first steps... How neat is that?  Congrats Ken !

After Swan Lake Flats, we decided to just head into West Yellowstone... check in and try to get to bed sooner tonight. 4 hours of sleep/night starts to catch up with you..... 

We also photographed Pika, saw Marmots and elk bulls and a TON of bison in Madison.

Tomorrow, we leave at 5:00am, head over to Hayden Valley, Mary and Sedge Bay and who knows where else. Only two days left and we are going to get it hard the last two days!

Thanks for reading.

Stay tuned for Day 6.

Mark

 


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