Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh the Animals We Saw {At Yellowstone}

 Our trip to Yellowstone gave us opportunity to see more wild animals then we had ever seen before. I got pictures of quite a few of them but with some the glimpse of them was so fleeting that I wasn't able to take a picture.

   On the way out we stopped at a rest stop where the chipmunks were super friendly (the had obviously been fed) even though we have chipmunks at home the kids were delighted with them.

 Shortly after entering Yellowstone we started seeing Bison. We were excited and started to count how many we saw but soon discovered that there were far to many to count very easily. That was pretty fun!

 Before we got to our campground we also saw a small Grizzly bear sitting next to a river by the road. So exciting to see it so soon in our trip!

  As soon as we arrived at our campsite we were greeted by a little Uinta ground squirrel who had burrows all around our campsite. I think it would have been glad to be fed but we tried not to leave anything available for any animals.
 Coming back from our first little hike we ran across a couple of Mule Deer. We discovered that the campgrounds seemed to be their home as well and we saw them pretty much every day.
 We are used to White tail deer in MN so the Mule deer were quite different to us.
The next day when driving we came across a coyote that seemed to think the road was for him to walk on too. He just trotted along in the opposite lane from us.
 When we were at the Boiling River some people told us that there were a bunch of elk just down river a bit. We decided to hike a bit to see them.
 There was a whole herd there (the picture just shows a part of them) but I didn't see any males with large antlers.

  That evening (I believe), when at our campsite Aaron suddenly hollered "A wolf!" - sure enough there was a wolf jogging along on the other side of the river from our campsite. It was a quick look (and some of our family did not get to see it) but very fun to see that wild animal.
 The day that we drove back from seeing Old Faithful, all of a sudden the traffic got really stopped up and we weren't sure what the matter was. We would creep forward now and then but never to fast. Finally we got to the place that we could figure it out - there were bison that had decided to travel on the road and then some that just preferred to stand in the middle of the road. Once we could see that the wait was pretty funny. I got a really good picture of a bison that was traveling in the opposite lane but it was on my Father-in-laws camera as my battery was being charged at the time.
In the same area we stopped to see the boiling mud and found this bison next to it, seemingly enjoying the heat. There were some others wandering around in the area as well.
  On the road to our campgrounds one evening we saw a large bunch of pronghorn antelope. They were an animal that we saw nearly every day but this group was the largest that we saw together. I thought they were a very pretty and graceful looking animal.
 On that same dirt road, on the same evening we saw a bunch of bison run. Generally they walked very slowly when we saw them, like they were hot and tired, but this evening they seemed to all need to get somewhere quickly.
 When we hiked up to Mt. Washburn we saw a couple of Marmots. They were rather cute.
 We also saw some female and baby bighorn sheep. Very cute and so quick and graceful on the mountain side! God made them perfectly for where they live.
 One night at camp we saw something that I found quite fun and startling. It was jumping around like a toad (very high and nice jumps!) but when I really looked at it looked like a mouse. Mara said it made squeaking noises too. I found out it is a Western Jumping Mouse. Very cute!

  Probably one of our closest encounters with an animal was when we never even saw the animal. One morning (Friday, I think) we got up around 7 am to have our camping neighbors tell us that they had just watched a bear go right next to our tents and then he walked through the campground. I had heard something around our tent but as it was morning I thought it was one of the boys as they tend to get up early and Jonathan had walked around our tent another morning. However when I questioned them they said that they hadn't been up yet at that time and they hadn't walked around the tent. I must have been hearing the bear. Mara also said she had woken up to noises of something moving outside of her tent. I am glad the bear just walked on through and didn't feel the need to stop. We were careful to lock all food and food items up securely.
Uinta Chipmunk
I will leave you with one last chipmunk picture. What is the coolest wild animal that you have ever seen?

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