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