Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 6: 2012 MPEG Yellowstone/ Grand Teton NP Groupshoot

What a difference a day makes...

We had absolutely beautiful weather today all day and the wildlife was back on the job.

Everyone was on their own today to do things like Old Faithful and to gain their own experience in the park. YNP is very easy to learn your way around. You can't get lost.

Jared and I arrive in Lamar Valley at 5:30am as planned. The wolf watchers were at the first pullout east of the Hitching Post pullout.

As we drove by, Jared spotted something running in the distance heading east. He thought it was a wolf but wasn't 100% sure. It was still low light and I couldn't tell either so we went to the Hitching Post pullout, turned around and came back. We then learned a grey wolf crossed the road right where we just passed 3 minutes before! Major bummer. A YNP bridesmaid again....

I would have had a really good image had I got there at the time of the crossing. According to the wolf watchers, the Lamar Canyon pack was scattered over the Park (not together as a Pack) thus a funky wolf morning.

After recovering from this major disappointment (timing is everything in this place), we cruised Lamar Valley, then went to Tower and found a mousing coyote along the road. I got some nice images of this guy.

We proceeded to a known badgers den (mom and 3 cubs) and a Unita ground squirrel family's home. The badgers had moved east to a new sight. We photographed both the badgers and Unitas with fellow photographer friends, Ralph Kerr and Steve Hinch for about 2 hours then we all had lunch in Gardiner.

After lunch, we went to back to Lamar for about an hour a seeking the golden eagles.I was told they (2 golden eagles) and 1 bald eagle juvi perched in a tree close to the road and posed for several photographers .... but me.... this event occurred about 1 hour earlier. Another near miss.

Back to Tower and found another coyote mousing and then on to Mammoth...we encountered a red fox walking down the road towards us and then he slipped up the hill... with me in pursuit with a camera but he disappeared. I was out foxed by a fox......

After exclaiming, "oh, crap" (well , ok,, not the real words), we proceeded to Gardiner Canyon and found several Big Horn sheep ewes and lambs frolicking on the rocky hill side as an osprey with a fish flew overhead and a juvi bald eagle came out of no where and flew overhead as well about the same time.

We got some nice poses with the ewes and lambs.

We proceeded towards the hotel, stopping at Sheep Eaters Cliff but no marmots or pikas seen.

Marty reported being at Sheep Eaters Cliff earlier today and ran into a grizzly there about 30 yards away.

The others members reported in with good days. Barb came upon a very fresh coyote kill by the road in Hayden Valley. Some coyotes took down a mammal. Some think it was a elk calf but Barb wasn't sure. As she witnessed the coyotes tearing the kill apart, three grizzlies (mom and two yearlings) suddenly came out of the tree line and ran towards the kill thus "at the crowd" (of course, people were too close) and they caused folks to flinched a little bit. Barb had bear spray, as is required for this groupshoot, but she had already retreated to her car.

No rangers were around at the time.

Again, this a classic example why you should have bear spray with you at ALL times. You never know in these parks.

Another unpredictable day in Yellowstone.

We have two days left in this Groupshoot. It's crunch time.

Stay tuned for Day 7!

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