Remind you of Arizona? Yeah, that's what I thought.Photo of Bear tooth mountain...I'm convinced your powers of deduction will enlighten you as to why it has such a name. Took this inside the car on the drive back to Mammoth...what a drive!Saw this little critter in the parking lot of the hotel we stayed in while in Cody. Jackrabbits are everywhere! I think Kate thinks I have an obsession. I somehow feel the need to point out a rabbit whenever I see one by indicating such with a a loud, "bunny!"Back in Yellowstone. Home, home on the range comes to mind when I see this photo. The buffalo were conveniently situated in an idyllic setting of a hilly backdrop with thunderous clouds looming in the background. I just had to take a picture.This is appropriately coined a "bison jam." Bison jam: when bison nonchalantly stroll across a road, seemingly unaware and/or unconcerned with the growing pileup of cars and overly exited tourists just itching for a National Geographic-type photo.I see these little guys everywhere. This is a ground squirrel. He was hoping for a treat, but sadly, he was not satisfied.Ok, so the next string of photos (with above photos included) are just a smattering of snapshots of wildlife I've taken while driving throughout the park. Some of them I've seen in hikes, but a large majority are straight from the car. The reliability and frequency of wildlife viewing here is absolutely incredible. The photo below is of a chipmunk. They too are everywhere. These are two bighorn ewes that usually hang out on some cliffs that lie very close to the North entrance of the park. They had some babies with them, but unfortunately, my camera just couldn't get close enough. This photo is provided for you courtesy of Kate Olsen. If you look closely, you can see the fairly developed horns of the ram in the middle.
Here's a bull elk grazing, with its antlers just starting to grow. He and another bull caused quite a jam.Mule deer! Their ears are so funny. Along the drive to Gardiner and Livingston, Montana, mule deer are everywhere. They are often seen grazing on some rancher's property.Very pregnant pronghorn does resting on a hillside. Closeby we saw a mother and her fawn, but they were too quick for me to get a picture. It's freaking baby season! They are soooo cute. Copious girl noises would erupt from the car every time we saw a baby elk, pronghorn, bison, or deer. Male pronghorn grazing. Fun fact about pronghorn: they are the fastest land mammal in North America, and the second fastest in the world, only beaten by the cheetah.This is taken on the Beaver Ponds Loop hike (approx. 5 mi) we did two weekends ago. Hilary is on the left, and Kate is on the right. Hilary worked in fisheries last year, but now works for Ted Turner on one of his ranches in Bozeman. She was down in Mammoth for the Cody and hiking adventure weekend. More mule deer, seen on the Beaver Ponds hike. We also saw some white-tailed deer, but I didn't get any photos that were clear enough. They were all in hiding in the woods.
This is a view of the Gallatin mountain range that surrounds Gardiner and Livingston seen from our hike. I loved the shadows of the clouds over the hills and mountain tops. This is from the Monument Geyser Basin hike I did with some people that I live with in the dorm. I think it gained 600 feet of elevation in just over a mile. It was pretty grueling, but the view made it all worth the effort. Oh, I can't forget to tell you this: en route to the vista point, we got hailed on. No kidding. This is a steam vent, also known as a fumarole. The sound of air and gases hissing from these things is amazing. I wish I had a video of all of the hissing and gurgling noises that emit from these geysers.View of some of the monument geyser basin area. Again, I was inundated with horrible, sulfuric smells that burned by nose...but I sacrificed comfort for the gorgeous view in front of me.
I might have let one go. But then again, who could tell?
View of the mountains on the drive back. I swear to you, it really does seem like the sky here is bigger. I wonder if they call it Big Sky country here. Every day, the clouds are unreal. If you look to the bottom of the picture, you can see the strokes of rain coming down on the far off mountains. Saw this grizz just 10 feet in front of me (see car). I first saw him behind a tree about 15 yards from the road. He was just meandering down to the road, taking his sweet old time when he seemed to suddenly notice there were about 20 cars around him. It was like he looked up and went, "Oh!" and then high-tailed it across the road and down the hillside, about 200 yards away.
Anyway, I have more photos to post, but my fingers are growing weary from all of the scrolling down so I will start another entry with more adventures to follow.