Lamar Canyons on the last day of March

T poses in the snowy sage
T poses in the snowy sage

Another snowy spring day in Yellowstone, filled with a lot of wonderful wildlife activity and the Lamar Canyons!

First thing this morning I ran into Rick and he told me that there were no signals on the Lamars.  I headed to the valley anyway because there are so many places that they can get into where their collars don’t transmit well.  First thing that I saw was a big black creature trotting west in Lamar Valley.  He was there and then not.  So, I turned around and was looking when a black wolf appeared below me.  It was so dark and snowy it was difficult to tell which wolf it was and I did not see any others.

Dark Black early in the morning
Dark Black early in the morning

Turned out to be Dark Black but I did not know that then.  He turned and left and was immediately replaced by two bald eagles.  This was confusing because we don’t often see eagles flying right over the wolves.

Eagles above the carcass
Eagles above the carcass

I could see several coyotes standing around the valley floor.

Coyotes in Lamar Valley
Coyotes in Lamar Valley

And got very excited when I saw a fox coming up the hill.  7:00 a.m. and a three dog day already.

Mangy fox
Mangy fox

But was heartbroken to see that the fox had mange.  First canid, besides the Lamars, that I have seen this season with mange.

By this time a whole lot of ravens, along with the eagles, are flying around and Dark Black is heading south in the valley.

Ravens over carcass
Ravens over carcass

And I concluded that the Lamar Canyons had a carcass on the valley floor, hidden from view.

Folks saw 926 crossing the road and there was a report that Little T had crossed earlier.  Eventually, we saw all three of them on the north side of the road, on top of the hill, and moving east where they bedded near the ranch.  Meanwhile, Dark Black sat in the valley and looked in the direction of the others.  All day!

I drove around a little and found the first kestrel of the season near the Confluence.  Also saw a red tail hawk and some mergansers.  Like magic, Lamar Valley is beginning to come alive as the spring migration gets into full swing.  More and more bears are being seen, with a large boar on the Blacktail first thing this morning.

Kestrel in Lamar
Kestrel in Lamar

Flocks of birds are swarming about by the 100’s and are quite the impressive sight.  I love the sounds!

Large flock of birds
Large flock of birds

And then Little T came down to the carcass and she gave us quite the show.  Enjoy the following photo essay of her journey today.  She is a beautiful wolf and those eyes are startling.tinsnowysage001 tinsnowysage002 tsnowroad001 tsnowroad002 tinsnow001 tinsnow002 tinsnow003 tinsnow004 tinsnow005 tinsnow006 tinsnow007 tinsnowyvalley001 tinsnowysage012

T poses in the snowy sage
T poses in the snowy sage

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A while later 926 headed down but she took her sweet time going to the carcass.  Sneaking across the road much later, practically before we knew it.

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926 on the hill above us
926 on the hill above us
926 on her way to the carcass
926 on her way to the carcass

While waiting for wolves to cross we had other excitement.

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A pair of golden eagles were flying about and hunting on the hillside.
A pair of golden eagles were flying about and hunting on the hillside.

Twin also made his way down to the hill above us but we never did see him make it across to the carcass.  There was hardly anyone out today, until the wolves began to make their moves and then suddenly Lamar Valley was filled with people.  Not sure how that works but it happens every time.  Some how people just know.  Unfortunately, some were pulling their vehicles into the path of the wolves, preventing them from crossing, while several others, including a photography group, decided to hike down to the carcass, sending T flying across the valley.  Poor T couldn’t run away fast enough and was stumbling through the snow.  She did meet up with Dark Black and the last I knew, before leaving for the day, was that the rangers were going to try and help them across the road.

Here is a little photo essay of Twin and the end of today’s story.

Twin in a spring snowstorm
Twin in a spring snowstorm

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Twin in the snow
Twin in the snow

 

3 thoughts on “Lamar Canyons on the last day of March

  1. 3 dog day before 7 AM is amazing. Derby, is it me, or is Little T looking a bit thinner? It might just be the pictures but I feel she has lost weight. I hope not. Sure hope you have some news today for us on Mottled. Beautiful pictures!

  2. What a fantastic day. The Lamars look good and I so wish Mottled would pop up and join his Pack. And what’s with the photographers going to the carcass???? Thanks for a great report. Does 926 look like she is carrying pups?

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