Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 6 - Lamar Valley

WOW! sums up our day in Lamar Valley in the north east portion of the park. The day started early once again, however, this time we had the girls with us. As we were driving through the park we weren't seeing much for wildlife, but that didn't get us down because we hadn't actually arrived in Lamar yet.

The first animal saw was a huge bull elk running through the sage brush. I couldn't even begin to tell you how huge it was, so I'll leave it at that. Next we saw the back end of a black bear near the petrified tree. After that we encountered a large heard of bison and then another and a another. That's when I knew we were in Lamar Valley. After being stuck in a bison jam for 20 minutes we came across a elk carcass near a creek that was a kill from the previous night by the Canyon wolf pack. There was a single coyote feeding on the elk. After 40 minutes we continued our trek east towards of the edge of the park. On the way back west we drove past the elk carcass and stopped by a group of cars to see what the commotion was about. Chad and I spoke with a very nice lady that was a part of the Yellowstone wolf research project about what was going on. She said that there were two male wolves running along the hills and were moving east (towards the elk carcass). Since they weren't visible we kept on moving west.

Near the Roosevelt junction the was a minor traffic jam. We spotted another black bear slowly walking around the tall grass.

Later that afternoon we headed back to Lamar Valley to see if we could find anything to shoot. As we were approaching the elk carcass there was a considerably higher number of vehicles than earlier. Since we were stopped in the traffic I jumped out to see what had some many people stopped. As I walked up, a guy said that there were three coyotes, and two wolves near the carcass.

Chad and I sat and watched the coyotes try and provoke the wolves before they would eventually moved in to fed. After about 3 hours the black wolf moved in to feed off of the carcass! Chad and I took turns using his 500mm lens with my 1.4 teleconverter and while I was shooting Chad said "it's like a scene out of PBS Nature."

We will be adding new photos and video from our trip to the blog and image galleries. We are also planning our next trip to Yellowstone!

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