Tuesday, June 15, 2010
June 9, 2010
We reach the valley floor after descending from Dunraven Pass where we had pulled ff at various points and with glasses were able to pick up many bands of Elk scattered across the valley and mountain slopes by the hundreds. Bison too. It is a real American Serenghetti.
As we cross the yellowstone River bridge which is accessed from a steep descent with the deep canyon of the Yellowstone flowing under the bridge we find a ton of vehicles parked and stopped haphazardly along the bridge. From a rolled down window I can get a picture of conversations that a bear had come down the slope and swam the river and was now somewhere below climbing back out of the canyon. We find a turnoff beyond the bridge and drive down it, get out of the truck and have barely walked toward the edge of the canyon when this Grizzly comes out of the draw right in front of me. I am guessing it is a rather young bear maybe three or four years old. If I was any closer I could not have photographed him with my telephoto lens. All this poor guy wants to do is get out of here and fairly rapidly climbs the hill on out of sight . We drive on out of the traffic jam and stop about a half mile up the road and sit for about twenty minutes watching several Pronghorn Does on the hill above about where I am guessing our bear might reappear. There are some people siting on the edge of the road with a long lens on their camera and seem excited about something. Curiously I ask them what they are doing. they were watching a Flicker in a nest in an Aspen tree. I tell them that at any moment they might get to see a grizzly come over the hill. A lady in the bunch suddenly exclaims. "There he is!". He tops the hill just above one of the antelope and she is really looking. For several minutes she is really watching it as it drops down into a low spot where we can't see it any more. The Doe is suddenly off and running straight down the hill. We watch for about fifteen minutes but never see it again. There was some timber at that point and I am guessing the poor guy was pretty tired and stressed out with his observed river crossing and was up there taking a much needed nap. He sure did scatter that Pronghorn doe.