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Yellowstone spring

I’m doing some work here, adding a utility room.  With all the noise and construction, it was a great opportunity to escape to the park and let the workers watch the dog.

Since it only takes me 40 minutes to the NE entrance, I escaped around eleven and was back by 5.  The day was overcast and on the cold side.  I’d planned to do a day hike, but chucked the idea with a cold wind blowing through the Lamar.  There was enough activity to view right from the road.

I’ts early June, the kids are still in school, and usually May and June the Park is still quiet during the week.  Yet last summer was the busiest the Park has ever seen and its predicted to be the same again this year.  The Lamar Valley had plenty of people today, but they all seemed serious wildlife watchers and so the atmosphere was calm and peaceful.

I do have to say, with all the hubbub around the ecosystem about wolves–rallies in Jackson and Cody recently, sponsored by outfitters and the Elk Foundation, complaining about wolves taking their business away [i.e. “biggest slaughter since the bison” meaning the wolves are eating all the elk, like when we killed all the bison] and wanting Wyoming wolves hunted as predators–it seems to be completely forgotten that wolves have created an incredible tourist attraction that benefits Wyoming.  I only talked with a few tourists in the valley, but they were all looking for wolves.  I ran into a carload of tourists from Oklahoma who had gotten out of their car to use the restroom when they heard a wolf howl.  They walked out to an overlook of the Lamar river and saw a black wolf–a thrilling experience for them.

Another man stopped and asked what I was looking at through my scope.  When I told him ‘a black bear’, he said “We already saw that.  We’re looking for wolves.”

It seems to be one of the main draws to the Park these days.  Wolves have fueled the attendance to record numbers!

With the Druid Pack all but gone, I didn’t expect to hear or see wolves in the Lamar, but there was a black wolf running around there, plus a tourist told me she’d seen one on a kill earlier.

Mostly though, since I see wolves in my own valley, I love to see the Bison and especially their babies at this time of year.  They are the only wildlife that cannot leave the Park so I have none in my valley.

This video doesn’t exist

There were a lot of Bison in the Lamar this day.  I always try and imagine the great herds that once roamed everywhere just a few hundred years ago.

Loads of Bison

Besides Bison, wolves, and black bears, on the way out I saw 2 beautiful old bull moose hanging by the side of the road (until a crazy tourist tried to get a close up picture.  Fortunately for the tourist, the Bulls decided to head up the hillside instead of into the tourist).

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