Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wolves and Bears

There isn't much to say about the link below other than it's all of the wolf, grizzly and black bear photos that we took while in Yellowstone. Some are better photos than others due to distance or lighting. None are what I'd call award winning. They really are more about the story in photo form than something I could see blown up and printed.

The first are all from my camera though Farm Boss may have taken some. If you are interested in these animals enough to see them all, you will begin to see the stories repeating. Those were taken by him with his camera.

Although we had seen bears and wolves on other trips there, these are the most photos we ever had possibly for two reasons. One might be because we had the time in the area where it's most likely to see them, but maybe September is a better month for seeing them as they know they have to be preparing for the winter to come. They represent two wolf packs, four grizzlies and one black bear in separate (distant) meetings.

Seeing animals at Yellowstone is all about being being alert. It is also about noticing where others have already stopped and asking questions. Sometimes a ranger will be there to keep traffic moving and make sure viewers don't try to get too close for both the sake of the animals and the humans.

There was such a ranger at one stop as a black bear had been seen below the road; but he told us it was now sleeping in the tall brush and no longer visible. We stayed awhile but we had places to go and things to see; so we didn't wait for photos of that one.

When we were driving toward Slough Creek early one morning, still dark, we saw an antelope alongside the road, standing, looking toward us or something else. A bit later we saw two wolves running away from the buffalo herd. At the time we didn't know there was a kill of probably either an elk or antelope nearby. Did it relate to the antelope we saw? Was there a story that connected the three animals? To have any chance of understanding, it takes time.

Sometimes I have thought the career I most envy, what I'd most like to have studied if I was young, or if there is reincarnation, and we get another go at this, would be a wildlife biologist. I know there isn't a lot of money in such work, that it has to be a labor of love, that conditions can be difficult, sometimes even dangerous, but I really admire people who do it as I like watching the animals, trying to understand why they do what they do, observing their patterns. Wildlife biologists are the ones who help us understand them and often protect them from our excesses.


Celia said...

Fascinating pictures of the critters wanderings, deliberate or otherwise. And the bear on the rocky hillside, where was he/she going? Did you see it make it to the top. Cool.

Rain said...

The bear on the steep slope was a story without a beginning or an ending for us. Basically the people at the viewpoint saw it first on the other side trying to make its way up. How had it come to be in such a perilous situation we won't know but it kept trying different possible routes, would find the way blocked and then have to turn back to another. We left before it got to the top but not before Farm Boss saw the way ahead would get up there. Humans on our side were all cheering it on while it had no clue we were there. All we know is it was a black bear but no idea how it got where it was and whether it had ever done this before. I would think if it had it would have known the way up. There had to be easier places to get water; so no idea what had gotten it where it was. It is at a place called Artisan Point with the Yellowstone River below.

Anonymous said...

It is a pity, that now I can not express - I hurry up on job. But I will be released - I will necessarily write that I think.

Mary Lou said...

Wow! I have never been to Yellowstone, and now probably could not do it the way I wanted to. I am pretty limited. But It has been a dream of mine all my life to go there and see it all!

joared said...

Enjoyed all your pieces and photos of animals and Yellowstone.