Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Tomorrow will be June 1st and and maybe spring is really just around the corner.  This week has been a hard week for park visitors.  We had heavy snows on Sunday and Monday, closing many park roads until mid day.  We still have the east entrance to Cody only open at night due to the threat of avalanche over Sylvan Pass.  Dunraven pass is still closed with ten + feet of snow over the top and last week the road between Mammoth and Tower experienced a major rock slide and is still closed.  The good news is that the wildlife don't care about all this and have been visible all over the park.  A few pictures from the past week.

I found this young Bald Eagle perched above Pelican Creek.  Based on the white coloring remaining on the belly I guess it is 2 to 3 years old.

I found this beautiful grizzly walking along the shore line of Lake Yellowstone at an area called Mary Bay.

This is actually the same grizzly from last weeks picture of the sow with cub on her back.  I liked her expression in this cropped shot and the snow on her muzzle.  I've looked for her and the cub this week, but no luck yet.  A reminder that you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it.

My manager at the hotel is an award winning photographer.  I invite you to also view his photos of the week at http://www.travelsinbearcountry.com/pow2011.htm#pow .

Until next time, Thanks for viewing.  David

Friday, May 27, 2011


Last week it appeared that spring was just around the corner and this week we've seen snow flurrys everyday.  This evening it is 28 degrees with a feels like temp of 21.  We have winter storm warnings for the holiday weekend.  I've found several photo opportunities this week after work and will post a few here.

Here is another look at the Harlequin Ducks in LaHardy Rapids.  They are here for only a short time in the early Spring.

One evening after dinner I found this playful otter on the frozen ice of Lake Yellowstone.  

This grizzley was seen several times feeding on a bison carcass.  The bison likely died during the winter and was frozen in the ice until recently.

And finally my picture of the week.  This sow and cub have been frequenting the Fishing Bridge area for a few weeks.  I finally got a chance to see them yesterday.  Thanks to my boss Steve for letting me out of work once we heard she was nearby.  I hope to see them many more times over the coming weeks.  

It is Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  This morning we awoke to fresh snow and learned that all park roads were closed to traffic due to icey road conditions.  The sun is shining now so hopefully the roads will open by noon.  Until next time, thanks for following my blog.  David

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Another week has passed in Yellowstone.  Training is complete and the Lake Hotel is open for the season.  The snow is quickly melting with temperatures ranging from mornings at 30 to daytime temps near 45 to 50.  I've only had a few photo opportunities this week and will share a few here.  We still do not have wi-fi at the dorm so I haven't loaded any pictures to my main photo website but hope to soon.

This grizzly was seen for  several days near Grizzly Lake between Mammoth and Norris.  He drew quite a crowd of photographers.

These fellow was seen shortly after crossing the Lamar river bridge as you drive out to the Lamar Valley.

Both of these bears were about 150 yds out.  I used my 100-400mm lens fully extended.  Next time I'll try inserting the 1.4x extender to get a little closer.  Until next time, thanks for looking.  David

Monday, May 16, 2011


Spring is finally arriving in Yellowstone.  Afternoon temperatures are reaching 50 and the snow is quickly melting.  Yellowstone Lake is still frozen but I expect it will clear by early June.  Due to the heavy winter snows there will be little hiking until mid to late June.  The east entrance from Cody has been closed for a week due to numerous avalanches.  My favorite drive over Dunraven Pass will not open for several more weeks.  I've been in training since arriving so have not had many photo opportunities.  We open the hotel this Friday so I'm looking forward to getting on a normal schedule.  We still do not have internet service in the dorm, but maybe sometime this week.  Here are a few photos from this week.

Several pair of Harlequin Ducks are currently in the LaHardy Rapids on the Yellowstone River.  It was difficult to get down to the rapids through waist deep snow, but worth the effort to see these beautiful ducks.  I'll try again this week to get some better pictures.

Here is a pair of Sand Hill Cranes beginning to think about nesting.  I think right now they are just trying to stay warm. 

This large ram was really impressive.  You can tell by the scars and battered horns that he has fought hard for his dominant role. 

Any finally this (brown) Black Bear was seen just south of Mammoth Hot Springs.

My highlight of the week was watching the Canyon pack of wolves on the move across the snow in the Hayden Valley.  There are five in the pack and I watched them from several locations as they moved south through the valley.  Too far for pictures, but a wonderful sight though the spotting scope.

Thanks for following my blog, until next time.  David

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


A brief update from Yellowstone.  I've been at the Lake now for almost a week.  We have 4 to 5 feet of snow with drifts of 15 to 20 feet.  The temperatures are not bad with nights in the 20's and daytime about 40.  With so much snow many roads are still closed and we have seen almost no wildlife yet.  We have new snow almost every day.  Today I'm off and in Gardiner, MT to get on the internet.  We will not have wi-fi for another week at Lake.  The hotel opens on May 20th.  Here are a few pictures from the Lake area. 

 The Lake Hotel entrance

National Park Service office at Lake

This little new born Bison and mom were just down from our dorm.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I arrived in Yellowstone yesterday and spent today exploring the Lamar Valley area.  There are almost no cars on the road this early in the season.  Roads over the high passes like Dun Raven and Sylvan are still closed for a few more weeks.  I report to work tomorrow and will be moving to Lake Yellowstone.  We will be in training for ten days and open the Lake Hotel on May 20th.

Found this healthy looking black bear hanging out near Tower Junction.

A group of Big Horn Sheep were along the road just beyond the bridge over the
Yellowstone River. I'm not sure what this ram was eating.

Once the Hotel is open and I'm on a schedule I plan to post an entry each week.  If you would like to receive email notice please go to the blog site and enter your email there.  From there you will receive an email confirmation that you will need to respond to.  I will be posting additional pictures to this link.