Once again the morning began with Rosie. She was hanging out beside the road, while her cubs were up a tree on the other side, and I lucked into a spot that allowed me to park and photograph her from the sunroof, while she was on a hill.
Rosie crossed the road, back towards the cubs, and I made to leave. Had gotten there late and had no clue where the cubs were and didn’t want to get out into the mix without rangers there to say it was okay. But, there was another parking spot and I managed a couple of shots of her nursing, framed by the trees in front of her. Nothing better than to watch a mama bear nursing her cubs!
The bears went deeper into the forest and I went to see what else was going on. Supposedly, there was three or four black bear jams today, from Hell Roaring, to Floating Island, to Tower, to Calcite. I only found one other one and that was near Petrified with a cute cinnamon sub-adult.
This bear stayed well away from the road and drew a huge crowd.
Then went to find pikas at Hell Roaring, but couldn’t find any. Others are finding the pikas there but they run and hide when I arrive. So, I photographed some wildflowers.
No pikas, no pronghorn fawns and no elk calves. Still looking. The Mollies were still on Norris and the Lamars had been at the ranch but headed towards the den. Later, Rick told me that the Lamars went and marked over the area where the Mollies had been and headed south. Guess that means that the Mollies moved on to somewhere.
Headed down to Hayden and got word that a wolf had made a kill down that way. It was 755! He was napping after the hard work of taking an elk down by himself. I went then to see the Great Gray owl and take a hike, returning 2.5 hours later to find 755 still resting after his hunt. I hung out awhile and ate my own lunch and every once in awhile he would look over at his kill and then, satisfied it was there, stretch out and go back to sleep.
It was great fun watching the owl, though too far for great shots. I liked the action when the Clark’s Nutcracker came in and the owl watched.
After that I took a hike and ran into my first back country bear! A black bear, thank goodness. Took some photos – he was quite aways off – and then when he spotted me walking down the trail he took off like a rocket. Guess I look pretty scary.
On the way home there was a bull elk jam. I don’t usually stop at those but the elk were up on a hill and we had some late afternoon light. Turned out to be a fun jam with a super nice, enthusiastic ranger who didn’t mind being out of her area and running an elk jam. Those elk would have been abused without her!
Nothing like bulls in velvet.
And, that completed my day, except for the elk cow on the back porch at Mammoth. Need to edit that video because it was pretty hilarious!