My Yellowstone Manifesto Pt2 (Image Heavy)

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May 14, 2008
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Well no two days in a row could be that exciting, but I thought I'd get up early on Tuesday as I had wasted a good bit of time yesterday going to Cody, which actually is a quite beautiful drive from the northeast entrance. I rolled out of camp by six and headed up my hill at the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and Lamar River.

River Bends
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Well what can I say, the camera gods really like me this week!:biggrin:

Five Bear Picnic (with several members of the Silvers mixed in, one is clearly visible to the left of the center bear)
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I was completely dumb founded. Twenty years of Grand Teton and YNP trips (not every year, but lets just say I've been there:cool:) and prior to Monday I'd only seen one grizzly bear and that was last year. Now I was looking at five in the same view with wolves mixed in! Lets just say as the elk walked by, they were a bit cautious...

Elk Take the Low Road
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And of course you can't ever bring five grizzly bears to a party and someone not get their feelings hurt.

Grizzly Square Off
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Eventually all the bears drifted off and so did I for lunch. Later that afternoon I made it back to the area to watch the wolf den. As the afternoon wore into evening the wolf pups appeared eager to see the world.

Pups and Adult Silver on the Moss Rock
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Another spectacular day!
Wednesday, after seeing only a couple grizzly bear at the confluence (getting old now:wink:) I decided to go up to Slough Creek which is home to the Lamar Canyon Pack. This pack is new to Yellowstone and lives in the same general area as the notorious Slough Creek pack did before the Slough Creek pack drove the Druids (YNPs original and most documented pack) out of the Lamar Valley. I took up a nice spot where some others had gathered near the river and began to watch the hillside. I saw a grizzly before I saw wolves and Bill from Alabama (who'd been here for five weeks...lucky bastid!) said that the pack had moved its den twice now because of grizzly harassment. Well we waited and waited, no wolves. The wonderful thing about the Lamar Valley though, is while what you are looking for might not be happening, the place is just alive with activity of one form or another. First the antelope twins showed up.

Twins
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Then the Golden Eagle (which has a nest and a near-to-leave-the-nest chick just behind our parking area) arrived only to be bothered fiercely by the ravens.

Harassment
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They were pestering him so bad, finally he landed in the grass and decided to scold a magpie severely.

Let's Chat
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A pair of beautiful coyotes wandered though, one followed some wary antelope and another hunted a wet depression behind us.

Pounce
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And did pretty well...

Vole Supper
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Finally our wait ended and a lone wolf appeared out of the den with five pups! They were all thirsty so they headed down to what's been termed the 'wooden bridge' (the logs above the rock) where there is water.

A Trip to the Wooden Bridge
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We watched them for almost an hour, every one intent on their scopes and cameras when something that always worries me happened. Someone said, 'slowly look to your left'...eeks...whew! It's only antelope, but wow, a buck doe pair had walked up to within 20 feet of us. These next two shots are no-crop. She was so close she could have had a beer.:biggrin:

Doe Portrait
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He stayed a few feet farther, but it was breathtaking to pull them up in the viewfinder.

Buck Portrait
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Curiosity satisfied they turned and walked away, but not before the buck gave me a view that was quite educational. He must have close to 360 degree vision.

Nature's Perfect Design
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The next day I slept in, but I had a mission when I awoke. Badgers. As the sun set the previous night I chatted with a lady who said their campground was full of badgers and there was a bunch of them behind their campsite. She told me one of them had run here friend off the hill! So I went to find the badgers...

Striped Fire Cracker
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But there wasn't just one there were three and they put on a great wrestling show.

Family Tussel
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I shot digital for a while then went and grabbed the Hasselblad to shoot some film. I though I kept track of them, but when I got back on the hill and set up, I looked to my left and a badger ran right by me (less than 10 feet with a squirrel in his mouth! These guys don't mess around.

Ouch!
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To wrap up the night, the twins returned and answered my prayers and sky lined themselves.

Ever Watchful
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Another marvelous day...oh and I did see 3 more grizzlies and of course more wolves. But there is a rumor about the valley of another wolf den at Little America. I can't believe it, that's way too close to the Silvers and these Lamar Canyon dens. Tomorrow we'll find out the truth to this story.:smile:

Buffalo in the Waning Light
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Joined
Apr 21, 2009
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Boston, MA
That's like a week's worth of events in one day! The buffalo sunset shot is my favorite, that's wonderful.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
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West Orange, NJ, US
Tim, another excellent series. The antelope not only looks to have 360 degree vision but hearing as well.
 
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Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
2,799
Location
California
Thanks everyone, I enjoy telling the tale!:smile:

The long shots are a mix of 650mm and 800mm shots (400 f2.8 with 1.7 or 2X teleconverters) and nearly all were MFd in Live View. I needs a 800 f5.6 AIS!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
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Belgium - Antwerp
Hi Tim,

Seems to have been an amazing trip you had. I can imagine your blood started pumping faster when you saw those 5 bears together.

The frontal deer head shot is gorgeous!

Thanks for sharing, now I'll check the other threads :)
 
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