We are on the threshold of spring here in Yellowstone. The snow is melting quickly, leaving a lot of bland brown with budding green grasses emerging from the surface. It is that time of year when the air is warm hovering over the bleak brown landscape – the beauty of spring is on its way, so close that I can taste its arrival. But, we are in between – no color and no animals to photograph. My fingers are itching to push the shutter on my camera – to capture some beautiful images – but there is nothing there. It is nearly like an addiction that must be fed but the supply has dried up and there is no more.
And so I wander over the wet ground, looking for something, anything. I saw a print from a black bear. And then my first buttercup of the season. There was only one bright yellow flower to behold. The bluebirds are flitting about and numerous songs fill the air from unseen birds. It is absolutely wondrous to hear the birds once again – everyday brings more birds to listen to. I see fresh badger holes, but no badgers. A couple of coyotes traveled through the sagebrush. Ravens filled the trees. I wandered down to Hell Roaring, and then around Floating Island Lake, looking for pika but nary a peep. It is a frustrating time. The wolves make brief appearances, howl and then hide in the trees. The bison cover the hills of Little America, happy to not be shoveling snow any longer. The shaggy elk are finding green grass down low.
I searched hard but, a last, the only thing to be found was the common – the bison, the deer and the coyote. And then I remember what good shots come from the common when you look at them with fresh eyes. And, I’m happy to just be pulling the trigger again.
The white tail deer were exciting as we see so few of them around here.
They are so elegant and graceful – such a joy to watch.
The pronghorn are beginning their migration to the east and will soon arrive in Little America and Lamar Valley, but for now they still hang in the NW portion of the park.
And so I still itch to push the trigger on something bright and beautiful – bright being the key – but these “common” creatures of Yellowstone, captured with my lens, do make my heart sing. The problem is that I always want more.