Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yellowstone - Part Six - The Others

So the time we passed up joining the mob scene that was trying to catch fleeting glimpses of a fox, we pulled ahead to the next pull out.  Our tour guide hoped that the fox would come towards us. In the meantime, I noticed a battle between a raven and a red-tailed hawk for the red-tail's catch.  We rolled down the windows and sat for awhile watching the drama.  We could hear the young red-tail cries for food in the distance.  The raven would lunge towards the red-tail and they'd flap about on the ground.  If things got quiet, the red-tail would pick at its catch.  Before we saw that, it was hard for us to figure out what was going on.  Eventually the red-tail had enough and fly into a nearby tree and the raven followed.  Few more minutes later we see the raven fly off with a good portion of the catch so I'd say it was a draw. 

Pretty even match.
Another interesting sighting was while we were waiting for a wolf to run towards us.  This was my pre-Scarface the bear sighting.  We noticed a lone male pronghorn sitting. That's the photo below.  Then we noticed a badger scurrying about.  I snapped a million shots and 999,999 of them were butt shots  This is the only decent shot where you could tell it's a badger and not a groundhog.
Act fast.  Butt shot coming your way.
Where are my ladies at?
Pronghorns aka antelope are actually quite big and almost the size of white-tailed deer. When you see them, you think they'd be the size of goats.  At the visitor center, they had stuffed versions of all these animals so you really get a better sense of the size up close.  It's also the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and often cited as the second fastest land animal after the cheetah.  Needless to say there's not many animals that much hunts pronghorn.  These pronghorn below were originally following that fox I found solo in the sagebrush.  You could tell that some of them were very pregnant and then they decided to make a beeline for me and the few observers at the road.  I didn't wait to see what would happen as I was dying of hunger and the sun was setting.
For whatever reason, I barely took any photographs of elk.  It's probably a combination of not seeing too many up close and easy access of taking photographs.  I take that back. We had numerous elk right outside the back of the main hotel.  Those "city" elk were feasting on the lawn between two buildings and its adjoining driveway and parking lot.  Not a pretty picture and they had security guards. I don't know if these guards stay with them all night, but I saw them before 6 am on multiple days.  That didn't stop the random stupid people who had to be lectured by the security guards.  Sure...go ahead take that picture 10 feet from a very pregnant elk....I'm sure nothing will happen.
Then there was the bighorn sheep who were looking pretty crazy.  They were shedding their winter coat so they were looking extremely mangy.  I never did see any proper males with the big horns.  Again, looks deceive you as they sheep are much much bigger than the average farm sheep.  I would not tangle with any of these guys. 

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