Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Every day is different…

at Yellowstone National Park.  It doesn’t seem to matter how many trips I make into Yellowstone, I see something new every time!   The skies were a blazing blue when I headed out this morning, but as I topped the pass on the way to West Yellowstone, everything became enshrouded in heavy fog.  I suppose it was from the good rain we had last night.  As I drove along the Madison River, you really couldn’t see much because of it.  So, that changed my plans.  It reversed the route I was going to take.  At the Madison Junction, I headed towards Norris, with the usual construction delay.
_MG_3337 _MG_3342
At least this time as I waited for 20 minutes to get through the construction, I was entertained by the antics of several chipmunks searching for delectable seeds amongst the rocks.  (remember these guys for the end of the post)

But instead of heading for Mammoth Springs, I turned right towards Canyon Junction.  At Canyon, I turned left to go over Dunraven Pass to get above the fog. 
IMG_3345The slopes at the top of the pass were just covered with blooms.  There was a yellow hue everywhere.
IMG_3358I decided to take a side trip up the Chittenden Road to the summit of Mount Washington (10,243’).
IMG_3359It was a very rustic gravel road with lots of holes and washboard surfaces, but well worth the drive for these views.
IMG_3360Below me was all the fog that I had encountered on my journey to the top.  Don’t the mountains just seem to go on and on?

As I headed back down the 6 mile, 6% grade, to the valley, there was a jam up of traffic at one of the switchbacks.  I pulled over to see what all the commotion was about.
_MG_3383Down below us, on the slope, was a Grizzly mom with her two cubs.  I was happy to see, because of the terrain, no one was scrambling after them to harass them to get a picture.  :)

As I neared Mammoth Hot Springs, it was swarming with visitors, and the temps had risen quite a bit, so I just pressed on south.  I couldn’t leave Emma in the car with the rising temperatures.  We stopped shortly afterward to have lunch at a picnic area that we had been to before.  There were no mosquitoes, and no other people.  Just about perfect to stretch our legs and get a little relief.  :)

Just as we reached the turn off for the petrified tree, I noticed a blur to my right and slammed on the brakes.  A black bear was hot footing it across the road with two rangers in close pursuit.  The rangers were clapping their hands and hollering at the bear to get out of the area.  The bear took their advice and headed into the brush across the road.  It all happened so fast that I couldn’t get a picture, but was an exciting moment none the less.

I hit the construction on the way back just right and only had to wait a couple of minutes before driving through the one lane passage with about 150 other vehicles.  :)  As I headed out to the west entrance, I took time to take the Madison river drive.  I have taken this drive many times on my way out of the park hoping to see something special.  Today was the day…
_MG_3398 _MG_3405
There was a beautiful Trumpeter Swam floating along.  This lone fellow, or gal, has been along the Madison since I arrived two months ago, but has never been close enough for a good picture.  These birds mate for life, and I can only guess that their mate died over the winter, and this bird did not find a new mate for this breeding season.  :(  Aren’t they elegant looking?

To answer a few reader’s inquiries, I now have a Canon Rebel XS, but had a Canon Rebel XT when I took the Missouri pics.  As for the Idaho mountain grass picture that I had for a header, I cropped the picture and used a slight tint.  The picture was taken shortly after dawn with a soft morning light, while I took Emma on her first outs.  I think I’ll tackle the comments from Rick and Al about uploading pictures tomorrow, as my mind right now is kind of worn out for the day.  :)
IMG_3323As the sunset progressed after the storm last night (from my new header picture), the colors did a dramatic change.  This was the most picturesque sunset so far at Red Rock.
_MG_3339                           THE END!  (hope you remember the chipmunk from earlier  :)) 

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Great pictures again. The info on Yellowstone is also good and if we head there next, we will be reviewing your posts to make sure we do not miss anything. We have not been there is over 20 years.

  2. You never cease to amaze me with the quality and clarity of your photos. Thanks for the info on the camera. I'll head out to Best Buy tomorrow then check Amazon.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Judy. I'm amazed you can get those Grizzly bear pics too - especially since you're smart enough not to chase after them to get "just a bit closer".

    By the way, hopefully my Monday morning blog may address some of your Picasa questions - we'll see!!

  4. Judy, I am always amazed at the fantastic wildlife photos you capture. Totally awesome does not even desribe it. Glad you enjoyed such a great day.

  5. great shots once again, Judy...
    we have a question for you though with regards to Emma..what are the rules on taking her into the park..or do you leave her in the bus???..in the car??..please help?

  6. Wow, those mountain shot's and bear shot were great, That area is truly God's Country, Can't wait to get to see some of it ourselves.Have a great day and pet Emma for Rigg's. Be safe out there.Sam & Donna.

  7. Hi Judy...I'm posting this answer to the questions you left on my blog because it's probably the fastest way to get a hold of you:

    I “think” I’m beginning to understand the problem you are talking about, but I’m not totally sure so perhaps you wouldn’t mind answering just a few quick questions to help me out here.
    When you say you “It's a pain to have to export a separate folder before beginning to write the post”, are you saying that the export you do, these photos are no longer visible in Picasa? If that’s the case, it’s very easily resolved.
    What is the exact name and path of the directory where your “exported” photos are stored – i.e. is it:
    C:\My Documents\My Pictures\my exported photos or:
    C:\my exported photos or:
    Some other directory variation?
    If you can answer these questions, I’m sure a solution to your problem can be found.

  8. Isn't it wonderful that you have been in the Yellowstone area long enough to see those new things each visit?? You miss so much when in a vacation mode.
    Your wildlife shots are amazing! Beautiful pics again today. Thanks for all the information you provide. It is wonderful to learn from each other.

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  9. Oh, I love the mama bear and her 2 cubs! Good job getting the shot! Looks like you are making the most of every second you are there!

  10. Judy, all the photos were beautiful but I especially liked the one at the end! What an appropriate shot for the end of the day's "tale."
    We're hoping to get into some different terrain soon...very soon! Cheers!

  11. You don't need to worry, your photo's will give everyone a run for their money, beautiful captures of a beautiful area.