Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

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Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Deb1741 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:05 pm

My grandson Braeden and I were in the Yellowstone Park this weekend for our traditional last trip of the year. Some years we don't see a lot of wildlife and spend the time doing the normal "tourist" activities in the geyser basins that we haven't seen in years. This year however, was a bonanza for wildlife sightings! Final count: 8 mountain goats in an area where we've never seen them, 3 grizzlies, 4 or 5 coyotes, a burrowing owl, 2 otters playing and swimming in the Yellowstone River (a sighting that has been on our bucket list for years), hundreds of elk including one large herd with a bugling bull, 7 wolves from the Wapiti pack, and the most exciting sighting.....3 wolves from the Canyon pack.

Seeing the Canyon pack is like winning the lottery as they are rarely seen these days. The alpha male and female are like royalty in the park and are the oldest known mating pair in the park at 11 years of age. We have never seen them before so when they crossed the road Sunday morning right at the power station between the Norris Junction and the Virginia Cascades turnout we were beyond thrilled. We were able to see the white alpha female a couple of times along with the alpha male 712M, and their grey yearling. They had 3 pups this year but we didn't see any of them. Braeden has some great pics of 712M and one really awesome pic of the alpha female.

The only reason I took a video was to get the audio of the pack howling. I apologize for the quality of the video. I was hand-holding my little point and shoot into the sun so was having a hard time even seeing if I had the yearling in sight. Right before the video all 3 wolves had crossed the road to the north side and were milling around the strip where the power lines run into the forest. The alpha female and yearling went into the woods but 712M stayed back. The alpha and yearling crossed the road about 100 feet up from us and then about a minute later the yearling crossed back over to the north of the road where she is standing in the video and howling erupted. Pretty amazing experience. Click on HD for better viewing and turn up the volume.

https://goo.gl/photos/1ShRSwkGYFw9GAjU8

Some pictures that Braeden got.
Alpha Female
Image

712M Alpha Male
Image

Image

Image
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby joybird » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:11 pm

Wow, Deb! Talk about haunting music. That must have been quite an experience.

And your grandson's photos continue to delight and impress. How old is he now?

I notice that the white wolf's right front paw seems cocked out at on odd angle. Did she have some injury/abnormality? Or is it just that it looks like it because of the angle she's standing at?
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby isleroyaleguy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:27 am

What an awesome experience Deb.
It is indeed rare to have that glimpse.
Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby dpratt » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:41 am

Deb, that is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Braeden captured some amazing images and that video....oh my. Really cool. I wish the pack around me howled more often because I could listen to that beautiful sound everyday.
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby teapot57 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:09 am

Sounds like you and Braeden had a great weekend with lots of cool wildlife sightings. I really enjoyed listening to the wolves in your video.

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Deb1741 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:05 pm

joybird wrote:Wow, Deb! Talk about haunting music. That must have been quite an experience.

And your grandson's photos continue to delight and impress. How old is he now?

I notice that the white wolf's right front paw seems cocked out at on odd angle. Did she have some injury/abnormality? Or is it just that it looks like it because of the angle she's standing at?


Braeden turned 18 in August. He started classes at Montana State University in Bozeman at the end of August. He is in the architecture program (5 1/2 year graduate degree) and is really trying hard to get a photography minor in at the same time.

I asked a photographer friend that is in the park every day about the wolf's leg and she said that the it has been like that for at least a few years. She was injured and laid up for some time one summer and healed on her own.

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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Jay w » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:20 am

Deb , great to hear you made it back to the park. Jealous. Nice photos too.

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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby PeteE » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:26 pm

I'm jealous too! :)
Wolves are awesome.
Braeden has a good eye for pics.
And that eye will serve him well in architecture too!
Well done Deb!

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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Jay w » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:00 am

Thought you might like this little clip.

http://nature365.tv/january-6-2017/

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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby brindledog » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:00 pm

Tip: Put on warm socks before viewing Jay W's video. Watching it made my feet cold! You can literally feel the freezing air! GORGEOUS - especially if you have a coat like a bison.
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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Deb1741 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:45 pm

brindledog wrote:Tip: Put on warm socks before viewing Jay W's video. Watching it made my feet cold! You can literally feel the freezing air! GORGEOUS - especially if you have a coat like a bison.


I took this video in February 2011 after my grandson and I got done snowshoeing up Pebble Creek Canyon in Yellowstone Park. It was a record year for snow and we saw this bison struggling to get through the snow. It was heartbreaking watching him take just one step and be exhausted. I estimated that there was at least 6-8 feet of snow in the flat area he was at due to just being able to see the tops of the willows.
https://www.facebook.com/deb.roesler/videos/195852443766452/?l=6086517576119509702


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Re: Yellowstone Park Trip Report October 21-23, 2016

Postby Jay w » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:03 pm

It makes you wonder how they can take in enough calories to keep warm in -20F.

The video I posted is from Jim Brandenburg. He's a fantastic still photographer and he's having someone work on posting one of his videos each day of the year.

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