A Wild Day in Yellowstone
Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does! We had an early departure from Mammoth to Lamar Valley. Upon arriving, we noticed a strange coexistence between predator and prey. Wolves and coyotes intermingled with the bison and pronghorn; who were tolerant yet wary. Family life was also very apparent as coyote pups and bison calves nursed. Both black and grizzly bears with cubs dotted the high meadows.
The highlight of our afternoon hike was when we stumbled upon a set of young badgers in their burrow. One peeked out, with curiosity, to pose for great photos. Just when we thought it could not get any better, momma badger came home with a freshly killed ground squirrel to feed to her young.
The day was also filled with incredible bird life. From the majesty of the bald eagle, to the sweet songs of the warbling vireos, birds filled the air and valley. The morning was highlighted with an assortment of waterfowl, including eared grebes, cinnamon teal, and the “daffy-duck” like ruddy duck. After seeing the mountain bluebird and the western tanager, our leader Melissa Dowland elaborated on a quote by Thoreau: If the bluebird carries the sky on its back, the tanager carries the sun.
By Lou, Cindy, and Pam