I have heard of Yellowstone all of my life. I never expected to actually make a trip to see the United states first national park. The park was established in 1872 and has around 2.2 million acres of, mostly forest and grassy lands. Pines, namely Lodgepole Pines are the dominant specie of evergreens.
Just as the Grand Tetons, many species of wildlife make this land their own. Of course, bear and wolves are present here, as well as, bison, elk and mule deer.
Badly burned area
The most well-known river is the Yellowstone River. This waterways flows approximately twenty miles through the park. The Yellowstone Lake is, also, found within the park’s boundaries. (A separate entry will be written on the lake.)
The river yields to some great, scenic views, namely the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Two waterfalls are predominate here. The Upper Falls is 109 feet high and the Lower Falls is 308 feet high. They are spectacular to see. The canyon formed by these waters is steep and high with a host of beautiful colors. The colors vary in regards to the how the sun strikes their surfaces. We stood in awe at the breath-taking view!
Laurie and I were walking along a trail when a reddish-brown streak went streaking by. I recognized the mammal immediately as a Pine Marten. The speed and terrain allowed for several quick photos, but none are of the quality I would have liked. the little guy just wouldn’t turn for me! (Laurie saw one earlier near the lodge and said she saw an animal that resembled a small fox. It was a marten.)
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Natives inhabited this land in times past. the Kiowa; Blackfeet; Crow and Shoshone are better known names. I can imagine these people struggling with the elements of this potentially harsh winter climate. The park shuts down many aspects of the park from around November til May due to the deep snows.
Wyoming state law prohibits getting closer than 25 yards to bison and 100 yards to wolves and bear. I would find myself breaking this law more than once over the two days here. however, all encounters like this were totally by chance and unintentional.
Native wild flowers abound in the park. Spring would be wonderful to see I am sure. Several species I found were the Mexican Hat; Wild Lupine and Indian Paintbrush.
The pine forests are dominant as I said earlier. however, many acres were burned at various times. The fire of 1988 burned the most acreage. The remnants of this fire can be witnessed throughout the park with charred limbless trees and downed logs. Over twenty years later a young forest is emerging and growing.
One morning, I exited the lodge at 5:40 to work towards a T-intersection of mixed forest and grassy lands. Yesterday, we had seen some cow elk feeding and I hoped to se a bull early this morning. this intersection was over a mile away.
I eventually entered the woods for a personal experience. I adjusted the camera for some flower photos. I entered the roadway again and walked a short distance when twenty paces ahead and to my right a big black bear emerged from the pine growth. I fumbled for some pics and I was disappointed to get one clear photo. however, the bruin was entering the woods again and my whistles were ignored. The big guy’s head was behind the greens. Oh well, I am including the shot!
I, eventually entered the woods again and heard an elk bugling a few hundred yards away. I circled the grassy areas but never say the elk. On my return towards the lodge, I spotted a large bull elk with dangling and bloody velvet on his antlers.
We saw bison, mule deer, pronghorns and a coyote this day.
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