Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Day 5: Yellowstone / Grand Teton National Park GroupShoot
What a difference a day makes!
Today started as a beautiful, foggy sunrise (see photo above) in Yellowstone and progressed to one of the most beautiful days I have ever witnessed here. The weather was "picture perfect" all day!
Jim and his wife Eve asked if they could tag along with us today and I said, sure! Jim says "I can find stuff!".......
We started in the Park around 5:50 am. We stopped by the Madison eagle's nest and noone was home.... but as we just started back on the road, an adult eagle was flying straight at us, flew over the car and I am guessing, went to the nest. We missed him/her by 10 seconds! It's all about timing sometimes..... We didn't go back to the nest as we had a long day ahead of us.
We stopped briefly at a carcass in Madison which has been picked clean. One of the MPEG members reported that 2 wolves were there the previous night around 8:00 pm.
We proceeded north and stopped by Sheepeater's Cliff. We found one marmot who posed for us and we snapped a few pics. Jared was getting something from the car when he came over and informed us that he saw a black bear walk out of the woods, crossed the road about 30 yards from him and headed to the river. We never saw the bear again. Jared was jacked about the event.
We went to Mammoth and checked out the great horned owl's nest at the Visitor's center. One adult was there and an owlet but they were sleeping so no good photo ops. As we were driving out of Gardiner area, an osprey flew over our car, headed to the very swollen and rushing Gardiner river, splashed down and came up with a fish and flew right back at us heading south. It was amazing.
How in the world did that Osprey see that fish in a rushing, foamy river in bright sun and nail it. ?
The whole thing was over in seconds. I never had a chance to photograph anything as I was in the car driving the opposite direction. Birds of prey never cease to amaze me.
The Gardiner Canyon was void of Big Horn Sheep again. We proceeded to the sandhill crane's nest in the middle of Floating Island Lake. One adult was on the eggs and the other feeding in the grass on shore. I was hoping for a fly into the nest by the other adult but it didn't happen. There were a variety of ducks there as well along with a proud Canada geese couple and 3 chicks.
We cruised through Lamar Valley and saw the usual stuff.. bison, elk and pronghorn ...before stopping by Barronette's Peak and we spotted two mountain goats and photographed them.
We then drove out the NE entrance, drove through Silvergate and Cooke City.... then drove the Beartooth Highway for a few miles then took the 62 mile Chief Joseph Scenic Highway to Cody, WY.
Let me tell you folks, this is no exaggeration, this was the most scenic routes I have ever witnessed! Some vistas were simply jaw dropping. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Jim and his wife treated us to lunch in Cody.
We proceed on to Yellowstone from Cody which is very scenic too! We didn't see much of anything super exciting the rest of the afternoon in Yellowstone (the Fishing Bridge area and Hayden Valley).
We spent most of the day outside the Park so I am sure we missed something....
Jared and I wanted to get back at a decent hour as the Group is headed to the Grand Teton National Park at 4:00 am to get to Oxbow Bend by 6:15 am for nice early morning light... we will spend the better part of the day there tomorrow.
I am headed to bed as we have a very early start and another long day ahead of us...
Stayed tuned for Day 6.