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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day of Animal Sightings

This post is all about the Friday we spent in Yellowstone. It was the first day everyone was there all together. We stopped at the main entrance signs for some pictures. Feel free to click on them if you need a larger look. :)
All the cousins.

All the family. By the looks of the faces of people passing in their cars, we were surely a spectacle!

In this picture is the grizzly bear we couldn't see. A few of us actually saw him WAY off in the distance. I had my camera with me and I put it in my pocket so I could look for it in the binoculars. Just as I found the moving brown speck, Jeremy went fishing in my pocket for the camera. I told him STOP! STOP! Get it later! He bumped me and I lost sight of the bear and never found it again. So, here is the picture Jeremy took that made me lose my sighting.

I did, however, get a better picture of the bald eagles this time. This is the same nest we saw before, only now you can see one bird sitting in the nest and the other on the tree. Cool!

We stopped off at Steamboat Geyser to take a look. That was fun to watch because it was constantly erupting. Not the huge eruption, but it was pretty active.

See . . . it is shooting water out the side.

On the walk back from the geyser, Alexandra stopped to take a little break. LOL! I just noticed her shoes were on the wrong feet!

My family at the top of the geyser basin. :)

Here is a better look at the basin. Isn't it so pretty and amazing?
We saw tons of animals on this day. Here is an elk that was right next to the road.

We drove up to Mammoth Springs in our family caravan and stopped there for lunch. There were a few elk just walking through the picnic area and we had Mammoth Springs as our backdrop. This is the thumb at Mammoth. I don't know the real name, but it looks like a thumb to me.

Someone in our group spotted this snake as we started our little hike to the hot springs. We watched it all the way until it made it's way across the field and found a rock to coil under. It's crazy how well it blends into its surroundings.

Hooray! The glorious Mammoth Hot Springs! I told my kids that it was a giant marshmallow mountain and they loved it! They all just stood there in awe looking at it for quite awhile.

In the past 3 years, the direction of the water shifted and covered the trail. All that newly colored sediment (the part that isn't white) has been deposited in just 3 years!
While we were there, the storms found us once again. We looked over the mountain and here came the clouds, full of lightning.
We all hurried to our cars. Time to move on!

I took this while we crossed the huge bridge in the rain.
Another gorgeous picture. I always wonder when I look out on landscape like this just how many animals are living right out there in the wild that we can't see and what they are doing.

We did get to have our first real sighting of a bear while on this drive. It is a black bear and was just out in the field sniffing around. We walked way out into the field and watched it for awhile. I made sure that there was someone in front of me who was a slower runner, that's for sure! I can't believe how close some people will try to get to wild animals. There were some guys who were hiking up close to the side of the clearing and standing behind some trees that were probably about 100 ft from the bear.
Jeremy tried to get a closer picture by putting the camera up to the binoculars. It kind of worked. :)
Our next stop was to see the petrified tree. When we got there, we saw several deer playing on the hillside right above the parking lot. These are the only deer we saw on our trip.
Ta da! The petrified tree! They have to fence it off because people are stupid enough to try to take pieces of it home.

After the tree we drove out to Lamar Valley to do some animal spotting. We heard that this is where a lot of bears and wolves live and we wanted to see what we could see. We spent a good 1 1/2- 2 hours out there and we saw tons of animals, but no bears or wolves.
We thought we saw where wolves were, but they never came out of the trees. We had been looking out on a huge valley where there were tons of bison. We could see about 4 huge herds in different places. All of a sudden one of the herds that was sitting by the treeline just got up and started running as fast as they could. The herd split and half went one way, half went the other way. Then a few more bison came storming out of the trees like mad and continued running on high. We wondered if they were being chased by wolves because of how the bison were acting, but we never saw anything else come out of the trees.
As we continued on our drive, we happened to stumble upon this black bear that was right off the side of the road!

Then up and over the Dunraven Pass we went. June 5th is the day we were there, and check out how much snow! I'm glad I live where I live and don't have to deal with the snow year round.

Last of all, on our way out of the park we got this beauty. Evil bison.

They were all crossing the road in front of us . . . again.
That wraps up our day! I can't believe how many animals we actually saw. I don't know that I've ever seen such a great variety of animals in the park! The kids even did great in the car. We did have to turn on a movie for them while we were in Lamar Valley because we did a lot of sitting around while we spotted, but other than that, they did fine. Oh, I forgot to mention, we also saw a mother bear with 2 cubs while on our drive. They were too far away to get a picture of, but I was able to zoom in on them with the video camera and get them on film. :)


dena4kids said...

Nice pictures! Yellowstone is so beautiful! That's great you got to go with the whole family!=)

The Allreds said...

WOW! Neat sights to see all in ONE day! If I saw the snake at the beginning of my hike that probably would have been the END of my hike. But after what you endured last summer with snakes wrapped around your neck I bet you're not scared of snakes on the ground any more!?? : )

Amy Jo Madsen said...

What a fun day! Cool pics of Mammoth Hot Springs--when we went 3 years ago, it was dry b/c of the drought or whatever. It was still pretty, but not as spectacular. Very cool!

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