Friday, October 1, 2010

Yellowstone Grizzlies

 Click on images for a larger view
Two Summers ago, Gloria and I spent two weeks in Yellowstone National Park.  Early the first morning, we were visiting the first of many geysers and hot springs scattered throughout the park.  Click on picture above and look closely at the boardwalk.  Gloria just walked by fresh bear tracks.
 Here is a close up of the bear tracks probably made sometime before we arrived.  We were the only ones in the area.  Needless to say, I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise a bit and thankful to see other people arrive.
 Yellowstone is bear country, mostly grizzly bears.  We saw them practically every day we were there.  The grizzly above was mainly interested in rooting for muchies in the ground and paid no attention to me, although I'm sure she was aware I and many sightseers were there.
 This is a mother bear walking up a hill with her cub not too far behind.  This is the one and only time she actually paid attention to me.  She stopped for a bit and just stared, then kept going on her way.
 This is the grizzly cub, almost half the size of the mother, but probably as large as an adult human.

One day the pair was rooting around in Hayden Valley.  Here the mother crossed a small watery depression.

But the cub wasn't too sure he wanted to cross so he just sat for a while. 
He finally decided to test it out since his mother didn't seem to be coming back.
 Gotta hurry  and catch up!

Here you can see the difference in size between the two.
At one point the mother sat down creating an invitation for some mother's milk.

The time I spent at Yellowstone is one of the fondest memories of my life.  Watching these bears up close made it even more special.  It was amazing to see many families drive into Yellowstone one day and leave the next.  They missed the whole experience of America's first national park.  I spent two weeks and still didn't see everything.

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