Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yellowstone - Part Three - Wolves

Day two started out with a bang in Lamar Valley. We arrived just as a lone wolf was being chased by three coyotes.  The coyotes were the same three that would later chase that grizzly as previously discussed in Part Two.  We eagerly followed the wolf and its three escorts up and down through the rolling topography, but eventually lost them in the sagebrush.  I assume that is the general location of the coyote den.  We heard a bunch of coyote yips as they were all out of sight.  Then nothing.  Periodically, we'd see a coyote pop out of the sagebrush, but all was calm.  Many of my tour companions thought it was game over for the wolf, but I thought and hoped otherwise.  I would think it such a battle ensued, it would be louder and longer duration of coyote yips.  Later on, we found out that the wolf is made its way across the road. I was relieved. 

One of the first shots of the chase.

The chase continues.

Getting much closer to the coyote den.
 Later on, we stopped by Slough Creek and we saw a crowd.  It was a black wolf at the "round tree." Now most trees are round so I had been fixated on the wrong tree for awhile, but I caught on.  The wolf was really far away and just a speck in the viewfinder. I could only see if it was moving and on top of a hill.
Wolf is generally in front of the tree trunk.

Now it's walking on the small hill.

Wolf is sitting on the hill.
Most wolf sightings are far away.  It becomes a Where's Waldo situation except Waldo is a small dot that only occasionally visible.  This was one of the more frustrating viewing experiences.  There was a lot of shadow play and the distance was far.  Sometimes you just don't have the eyes to discern if that shadow/dark spot on the mountain is a creature or not.  I would only occasionally be able to pick it out and most of the time just feeling frustrated.  So that's why I only have one shot as the rest I couldn't find the wolf in the photo.
There's a wolf sitting on top of that hill.

To be continued

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