Saturday in the Park, Part 2

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We were cautioned by a ranger in the road not to stop the car, but were allowed to slow it down.  Visible among the pine trees for a moment was a mother grizzly followed by two cubs, their silver fur glinting in the sun.  I had to blink to believe I really saw them.

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Another animal I’d not seen before was the bighorn sheep.  We found some over by Roosevelt Lodge (Tower Falls), in the same area TR did in his visit in 1903.

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Bison are beautiful.  The babies like to jump and dance in the evening.

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Guess you’re never too young to play!

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A raven drops in to see the black wolf the photographers are lined up for in Lamar Valley.

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Iconic elk rest peacefully on ledges of iconic Mammoth Hot Springs.

After an expedition to Yellowstone in 1870 escorted by Captain Doane from Fort Ellis in Montana, members of Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant designated it as our first national park.  The people of the United States would now be able to experience nature in its pristine form, and look forward to their grandchildren doing the same.

In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt made Pelican Island off the coast of Florida a national bird preserve, rapidly setting aside more than 230 million acres for national parks and monuments.  In 1906 the Antiquities Act which he and Chief Forester Gifford Pinchot plotted swiped treasure from under the noses of miners, loggers and developers before they could profit from it.  TR said the land could never be improved upon.

This Spring, the Antiquities Act is being tampered with.  Of course, they wouldn’t dare take away any land already preserved just to make someone richer.

Would they?

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Look at these websites for a discussion of recent actions on the Antiquities Act of 1906:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

http://www.americanforests.org/blog/new-executive-order-antiquities-act-spell-disaster-fore

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Saturday in the Park, Part 1

I wasn’t wishing it was the Fourth of July, because by then in Yellowstone National Park the landscape would be shades of brown and the animal life higher and out of view.  As it was, our trip during the second week of May to this famous natural ecosystem in Wyoming and Montana turned out to be a boom time to see and photograph big game animals.

 

 

At Mammoth Hot Springs we watched a group of elk, some drinking from a stream and some resting.

Hopefully their thick robes kept these bison warm enough in their crossing of the icy river.

 

The introduction of wolves to Lamar Valley has been controversial; their numbers have increased while the elk numbers have decreased.  Photographers line up en masse with powerful lenses on tripods.  I married my camera to a telescope and got a clearer view of two wolves working on a bison carcass.  An injured black wolf, possible an Alpha female, was causing a bit of commotion closer to the road.

Yellowstone Lake is still mostly frozen in May.  But deep underneath, seismic activity abounds and is closely monitored.

Almost to the Cooke City entrance on our way out of the park, we spotted these two young moose.

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Next time: “You may slow your car, but do not stop.  There are grizzlies ahead…”

Sunny

I love sunflowers.  I didn’t have much luck with them this summer, though.  Out of three packages of seeds, only five sprouts made it.  The birds, the rabbits, and the deer enjoyed them at different stages of growth.  I transplanted some to a new location.  But look at one of the plants today~

That just goes to show that you never know how things will turn out.  Keep trying.  Appreciate what you get.

A sunny picture for today.

Cache of Cannas

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The sun cooperated with the plans of two photographers on a late summer morning in Foster Park.  It stayed behind some clouds, reducing the chance that petals would blur under its gaze.  Magnificent canna lilies were center stage with only a few elephant ears competing for attention, while the rest of the foliage, content with climbing fenceposts or grazing the ground, remained in the background for the benefit of their taller brothers and sisters.  But these will only last a little while, and soon bulbs will be dug up to rest during the winter.  I will let the camera write the captions this time: it deserves most of the credit.

The Land of the Big Sky

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The sky wraps southwestern Montana in a great hug.  You can see cumulus clouds in the rearview mirror at the same time the mountains frame the road ahead.

In back of a family farm, the scene changes from sun and shadow to rain and rainbow.  A creek rushes through the tall grass.  Not too far away at the shore where Lewis and Clark found three rivers coming together, stones they may have stepped on are visible through the clear, cold water.

Enjoy these pictures!  I hope you can see the Big Sky in person some day, too.

Many thanks to Jeff and Neal Krogstad for allowing me to photograph the scenery around their beautiful home.

The One That Got Away

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You know the expressions “…rowing with oars out of the water…” and “…the lights are on but nobody’s home…”  Well, I have another one: “…taking pictures without a memory card.”

Yes, on a rainy day I brought my new camera to the most wonderfully landscaped park in town.  For weeks a friend and I had been planning to capture the tulips there when they bloomed.  I had responsibly thought, “I’ll take my old point-and-shoot just in case something happens to the battery in the new one.”  Hopping out of the car and enthusiastically angling in on the beautiful blooms, I’d taken several photographs when I decided to push the button and take a quick look at them.  Just a little reinforcement for the ego.

“No card,” Mr. Minolta said.

My heart sank.  But I put the point-and-shoot in one hand and my smart phone in the other, like a double-holstered cowboy, and kept firing.

 

 

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I just know one of the ones I took with my Minolta with the aperture set on 5.6 before I discovered there was no memory card was the best flower pic ever.  But who would believe me?

I like the pictures I got.  And the first thing I did before starting this post was to take the Minolta card out of the computer and put it back where it belongs.