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The Road

After a brief hiatus working in CA, I got back to Sunlight in time for the arrival of the elk from the Lamar in Yellowstone. In the early mornings I drive up the dirt road hoping to catch whatever might be out there.

Most days I’ve seen 2 moose calves eating amongst the willows up near the ranger station.

Young moose

In the evenings several hundred elk come to graze in the open.

Elk feeding at dusk

Bunnies run to the brush. Two bald eagles play overhead. The Sunlight wolves patrol the road, side trotting up and down.

Running down the road 2 blacks and a grey

Today I took a hike along a closed winter road by the river. Tons of wolf, moose, coyote, elk, deer, rabbit and mouse tracks. I could hear a few howls across the valley, and then a pack of coyotes yelping. I stopped, listened hard, and found their direction. Somewhere by the ranger station across the river the coyotes were singing, along with the crows. I suspected there was a kill there.

Driving back, I looked for the kill. I found it about 50 yards off the road, mostly picked over, probably from a few days ago. I climbed down the steep incline and over to investigate. Was it one of those young moose?

Although pretty badly chewed, the skull definitely looked like a moose, not an elk. There aren’t too many moose around here, between the long drought and the ’88 fires. Besides, moose aren’t native to these parts of WY. But I do mourn any moose that’s gone as there are so few.

Living in a complete ecosystem, with top predators, you see the full cycle of life every day, especially in the winter when the landscape is so clear and visible and the wildlife are not interfered with by atvs, hunters, cattle, campers, and all the others amusements we humans conjure up. I’m constantly confronted by my modern, linear, goal oriented thinking, as if nature were a line from beginning to end.

What is Real?

Nature is a circle of Life, of endless feeding and being fed, unedited beauty, a starkness stripped to naked Reality, though elusive and hidden at the same time.  Multi-dimensional, dispassionate,  full of the passion and energy of Life.  All Paradox and no conclusions.

One Response

  1. Beautiful pictures. It is always sad to see an animal that has been killed by another. It’s hard to remember that all animals must eat what they must. Lovely adventure you had this day.


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