Western tanager

Ah, Yellowstone day. The day I felt most nervous about. So nervous, in fact, that I woke up at 4:30 am (not planned) and was on the road by five.

The first excitement came with a set of dancing bison. This group was obviously young bachelors who were head butting and running about in a circle. I may have to paint this experience.

The next excitement came when a low, gray, fuzzy thing darted across the road with something in its mouth.

Yes, a wolf. I saw a real, wild, Yellowstone wolf (for about 30 seconds). Looking over the website, it was probably a member of the “Canyon” pack, but I am not able to find any information to help me ID it (it’s wearing a collar, as you can see.)

From there, traffic picked up and it became harder (for me) to stop and really appreciate things as much as I probably should have.

By the time I left Yellowstone for Grand Teton, traffic was moving, but very busy. It seemed all the places had full parking lots that had expanded onto the highway. I basically ended up driving straight through.

Which meant that I got to Jackson much earlier than planned. So, I decided to hit the National Elk Refuge today, instead of tomorrow morning. I wasn’t entirely shocked to find no elk at the refuge. My guess is that all the elk are up in the neighboring forests with their babies; but during the winter, then come down into the enclosures and are fed. Still, it’s a lovely, lonely place.


The biggest excitement was seeing a badger! It was doing a little tour under a parked RV and was not a fan of my attempts to photograph. Still, I saw it, which was fun. My first impression was that it was a moving carpet!

Badger (look at the shadow under the tires.)

Still no bears on this trip.

Tomorrow it’s south through Wyoming to Rangely, Colorado. I’ll hit Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge and, if possible, Dinosaur National Monument.

To be continued…