One of the sights in Yellowstone that has never failed to make me smile is when driving home at the end of a long day, there is an elk on a hilltop, as if to say, goodnight y’all, this is my world now.
Last night there was one lone elk and I did stop to try and capture it with the camera but it didn’t work so well. Tonight there were several elk saying goodnight.
This was one of those days in the park when it would have been okay to stay home, seeing as how I didn’t turn on the camera until after 6 p.m. And, because I was tired and grouchy, which doesn’t work well when the rangers change the rules at the bear jam yet again. It is a little frustrating that some selfish people came to visit for a couple of days, deciding that the rules didn’t apply to them and that they could do whatever they wanted. Those few folks go home all smiles because they got their vacation their way while those of us who are left here get to suffer the consequences of their selfish behavior. Any more decent photo ops of the black bear family will be by chance and pure luck. The rangers are grouchy and I don’t blame them because I am too! They have to keep things under control but if everyone would have just listened and did what they were told, all would have been fine. So, please do not stop in the road, do not park in the road, do not park in no parking areas, do not walk past the line set by the ranger, do not stand in the road and do not step in front of people. And, most of all, do not approach the bears.
I stop in the road during the winter when no one else is around, or when no one is coming but I always try to be mindful to get moving before delaying anyone else from enjoying their vacation. Their vacation and my vacation are not the same vacations – we have our separate agendas and it would not be fair of me to force my agenda onto someone else. This is just a disclaimer, to let you know that I am not the perfect rule follower. I stop in the road but try my best to not block people from continuing on.
So, I was grouchy and am sure the ranger did not appreciate me one bit. I did try to make up for it before leaving. Best to stay home on some days.
Most of the morning was spent working on the computer and then I headed into the park. The gas station ran out of gas and so my allowance for today was their last 5 gallons. And, my foot brace broke and so I went and got another one. So relieved that they had the same type.
Headed south, passing through several bear jams and around several cars that had been locked and left in the road. The jams were black bears and the crowds too crazy to try stopping. There was a big bull elk in Gibbon Meadow! The elk are returning home. As a side note, I saw some elk IN Lamar Valley tonight, along with a few thousand bison. Red dogs dot the landscape!
As I suspected, the Canyons were all back home in Canyon and were hunting. Yep, my plan for today had been to head that way early in the morning to follow my hunch. Sam did head that way, I got there afterwards. But, it sounded like they were far off. Would have been good to see them though. I was told that it was the alphas and the two pups (or yearlings). Some are still hoping that they have pups somewhere but I am not sure that will be the case.
I did see two elk cows looking for the calves in Canyon. It is always so hard when the babies are killed and to watch the moms run around looking for them. The bears are thick and they are getting to the calves quickly. I love it that the animals get to eat but hate it that there is suffering and heart ache.
Went out to Lamar and on past Cooke City. Nothing really, I just drove. In Lamar a bison calf was dying from a shoulder wound. I had heard about this yesterday – that something had attacked the calf but thought that it had already died. Sad to find out it had still been suffering. Apparently, mom had finally given up on her youngster and walked away. Really glad that I was not around to watch her try and make her calf better.
Late this afternoon I went up to the black bears where my frustration took place. Ended up doing a little more video. The bears are way too far away to do much else, than to capture their cute action. Those cubs did make me smile and giggle and so it was worth watching them.
Another long day – not terribly productive but that was just fine with me. Hope that your Memorial Day was good and for those of you who have lost loved ones, I pray that you had good memories.