Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Americans on safari

We're back after 2.5 days of trying to see all of Yellowstone in one weekend (verdict = not possible). What an amazing place! Old Faithful is the most famous geyser, but there are 10,000 geothermal features in the park - including hot springs, mud pots, and fumeroles.

Then there are the waterfalls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - we spent a wonderful morning running on trails for close-up and far-away vantage points on both sides of the river.

And finally (my favorite part) - we saw animals!! They didn't stay put like the waterfalls nor were they anywhere near as predictable as some of the geysers, but they seemed to show up at random times when we were just driving down the road. The best way to figure out where the animals were was to watch the other drivers - a huge congregation of cars beside the road and people pointing cameras at something could only mean: animals!

Not all of them were easy to capture on camera, especially the ones that were far away (we're talking about a spotting scope/much better camera as future purchases). But we did see:

A grizzly bear
2 black bears
A coyote walking on the road
A coyote chasing pronghorn antelope
A couple osprey, including one in a nest
A female bighorn sheep hanging out on the side of a cliff
Small darting birds of green/purple color - maybe martins
Uinta ground squirrels
Hawks soaring
A bald eagle, also soaring
A moose!
Garter snakes
Possibly a heron, and many other birds I couldn't identify without a field guide
Many, many bison, elk, and ravens
And my favorite - yellow bellied marmots (don't you love that name?)

Go Bear Go! :)

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