Friday, June 6, 2008

Yellowstone Wildlife

My absolute favorite thing about visiting Yellowstone is, hands down, the wildlife. First of all, it's so abundant- you can hardly go a few miles without seeing something you'd pay good money at a zoo to see- and second of all it's really exciting, and third of all it's just cool. If you don't think so, you're just jealous because you haven't gotten to the point in your life yet where you think "oh, another buffalo herd, not worth stopping for..."
First of all, a buffalo. The most prevalent in the park. I really like them because it's difficult to think of an animal more iconic of the American West than a buffalo, and they're everywhere, so this made me happy.
A baby buffalo, also affectionately known as a "red dog." These guys are born weighing 70-80 pounds, which sounds like a lot until you realize their dads weigh about one ton...
An elk. Also everywhere, particularly around Mammoth lodge where they're smart enough to graze on the well-mown grass. We also saw one with a beautiful set of horns, but no picture I'm afraid.
A white-tailed deer spotted on our hike. Now listen, I know these guys aren't too exotic- they've been tearing up my mom's garden longer than I can remember- but I'm keeping track of wildlife species seen alright? Alright.
A moose, cooling down in the water.
A beautiful shot of a butterfly who obligingly posed on our hike.
And last but not least, a black bear! Spotting these guys is a big deal in the park and we did it twice- once when he was waaaaay off in the distance so that you'd never notice if there wasn't a ranger and a crowd of people around to point out the black speck on the nearby hillside to you, and once when the cars slowed down on the side of the road and we discovered he was only a few yards away. (A sure hint of good wildlife in Yellowstone is an unexpected traffic jam.) This guy was pretty little and he was foraging on the side of the road, wondering what all the huge commotion was about but not at all deterred by it-
I loved him, not only because he was cute but because, well... ok, he was really cute. I'd so want one, if I didn't know they can kill people and all those messy details.

Also seen but not shown here, due to either lack of photograph or my ability-
~ ground squirrel
~ jackrabbit
~ bighorn sheep
~ lots and lots of birds
~ grizzly bear (Ok, this one is very suspect. However, the first afternoon we were in the park there were a bunch of cars parked with telescopes looking in a direction, and for a second while I looked in that direction it looked exactly like a grizzly bear. No one else saw this though, and I don't fully trust it myself, but still it would be cool to say I saw one!)


Anonymous said...

So that's where the moose went! I will have to inform Miriam right away!

Yvette said...

What now? I missed something...

Count Iblis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Count Iblis said...

The buffaloes at Yellowstone are not as aggressive as their counterparts in New York,

see here.