Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day Two in Yellowstone, Dances in Lamar

Here's our second riveting Yellowstone report from Diane Bentivegna of National WolfWatcher Coalition. Want to dance?

Day Two in Yellowstone by Diane Bentivegna


With its resident wolf packs, Lamar Valley has become a mecca for wolfwatchers to Yellowstone. True to this expectation, Day Two of the WCC Expedition to this national park proved to be yet another exciting adventure. Our early morning trek to the southeast quadrant of the Lamar Canyon began with a sighting of Lamar Canyon pack’s M754, two cinnamon-colored, young grizzlies, several ravens and a coyote, all of whom arrived on the scene to stake out their claim to a bison carcass. With a tenuous peaceful coexistence being played out before us, the grizzlies won the prize and were the first to feast on a good portion of the bison. Their huge bodies coveted the remains while they gorged one at a time. Although M754 bravely tried to move in on the action more than once, he was warned by the largest of the grizzlies to back off. M754 patiently waited nearby until his time had come. Finally, when the grizzlies moved on, M754 quickly dashed upon the remains and feasted. As wolfwatchers, we were awed as we witnessed this delicate yet orderly dance that took place in wild Yellowstone.

Thereafter, we traveled throughout the park and marveled at more of its many natural wonders! In addition to other spectacular wildlife viewing – wolves, bull elk, bison, deer, mountain goats, osprey, perigrine falcons, and the list goes on and on, we visited the Canyon Visitors Education Center which features spectacular exhibits to prepare us for our visit to Yellowstone’s “supervolcano” or the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Plunging 1000 feet, hot water acting on volcanic rock created the canyon’s myriad of colors, thunderous waterfalls and exquisite scenery around every roadside bend. We visited the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, Tower Falls, Calcite Springs and several other scenic overlooks that made us all marvel at these wonders up close and personal.
And, if that was not enough, after a scrumptious dinner among new friends, wildlife and wolf biologist, Dan Stahler, associated with the Yellowstone Wolf Project, gave a riveting audio-visual presentation about the biology of the Yellowstone wolves and its implications for the future of all wolves as they face some challenging times ahead.
Sharing these experiences with fellow wolfwatchers and witnessing the splendor of Yellowstone’s wild lands and wildlife with those who share an appreciation for these natural treasures continues to be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable and inspiring experiences I have ever had. I look forward to the marvels of yet another day in the park tomorrow!

3 comments:

auntkiki said...

Oh Diane, how wonderful!!!! I hope you enjoy every minute of it!! Joanne F. called me yesterday, she's at Lake and Grant. She's been watching the Canyon pack. The yellow stained walls at The Grand Canyon of Y'stone is how it got its name. A little trivia for ya! Keep on having fun!!!!

auntkiki said...

Oh Diane, how fabulous!!! You must be loving it out there!! The yellow stained walls at the falls of The Grand Canyon of Y'stone is how the park got its name. A little trivia for ya! Joanne F. is at Lake and Grant, she's loving it too! Been wolfwatching...the Canyon pack and Hayden Valley. Keep on having fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Great stories!