Yellow and Orange in Yellow

I have always found units of measure to be the foundation for life. They have the unique ability to deliver a multitude of feelings. Used at the appropriate time they can bring happiness, yet can be used deviously to bring on depression. Similarly playing the fence to deliver a feeling of accomplishment while equally adept at demoralizing. Of course, there’s the inherent use to impress although quickly turned to deliver a sobering cold fish slap across the face. It might be hard to imagine a tiny 5 letter word like “units” having such an impact on our day to day activities. Perhaps you need some examples. Clearly it sounds a whole lot better to North American males to hear their average life expectancy is 27,740 days rather than a mere 76 years. Better yet, how about 665,760 hours – now we’re talking. Nothing like walking into work touting you’ve just completed a 50K only to have some snide remark like “well, that’s only around 30 miles” – bastard! Hey buddy, that’s 158,400 feet back at ya’. Everything equals out of course, as the consumption rates clearly differ, but the fact remains that numbers are a double edged dagger (keeping with the pointy things theme from last post). So, by now you are probably wondering where I’m heading with all this. Well, 1 year ago we came upon this interesting bird.

Hooded Grosbeak found at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

See, you are probably thinking to yourself, “man, Bri’s on his game for today’s post – so unlike him to deliver a snap to post execution in a single year. Way to go Bri!” (that would be both the feeling of accomplishment and impression if you are keeping score). Yep, this post was from 2013 and comes to us from Yellowstone National Park. Quick math, carry the 1, subtract the denominator, build a 3×3 matrix or whatever the crap they do in common core these days… wait a minute that is more than a year. Nope, one itty bitty cute and cuddly “dog” year.

Hooded Grosbeak found at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

Hit the jump to find out what the latest add to the birding list is.

Continue reading Yellow and Orange in Yellow

Cleaning Out Yellowstone – Part 2

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming.  I think that does it for the missed Yellowstone featured posts, so I can get back to clearing the rest of the general shots from the trip back in May 2013.  Not a lot of text here – these posts are all about the pictures.  They may be soft, they might be really soft and in some cases  (like the last) barely discernible.  For those that have never been to our first National Park, these clearing posts will give you feel for all the wildlife you are sure to see out there.

Let’s start with the Moose.  The Moose is one of those Holy Grail animals for a Yellowstone or Grand Tetons vacation.  There are fairly hard to find and their numbers are small compared to the other residents in the parks.  To put it in perspective, this is the only Moose that we encountered while in Yellowstone, compared to the large number of Bears that were shot (and featured previously here).

Scenes From Yellowstone National Park May 2013

This one was in hanging out in very bad light near a hollow.

I forgot to post the better picture of the female Lesser Scaup in the last clearing post.  I liked how the male is “acting” like he is asleep, but clearly keeping an eye on the prize.

Scenes From Yellowstone National Park May 2013

We came upon this sighting while checking out a pullout on the main loop.  There were a few people there, but they didn’t really seem as interested as I was at what they were looking at – I on the other hand I was thrilled.

Scenes From Yellowstone National Park May 2013

Hit the jump to find out what this is!

Continue reading Cleaning Out Yellowstone – Part 2

Does It Spy Eyes on the Side

Howdy friends! – hope everyone’s enjoying the Valentine’s Day weekend with their special someone’s.  I was just sitting here watching my 3D printer lay down some plastic when it occurred to me I could continue to be mesmerized by the print head moving back and forth along the pattern… or .. wait for it… be productive and crank out another post.  True to a fault, my brain usually comes down on the side of productivity – keeps bringing up the whole “you complain every month you don’t have your posts done” argument causing me to cave faster than it takes Hillary to open her mouth and issue a cackling lie.

Up to this point I’ve been showing you the frail and vulnerable side of Yellowstone National Park.  Today we take a different perspective – the deadly side.
Coyote on the hunt in Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

If you recall in the Yellowstone baby series, there was usually at least one adult keeping a watchful eye on the surroundings.  The Coyote above is a fine example of why they were keeping steadfast alert.  It should not be a surprise to anyone that reads this blog (or knows me personally) that Coyotes are not very popular in my parts of the woods.  We do not have Bears or Wolves in these parts of the Midwest which puts the Coyote at the top of the wildlife predator list.  This results in humans having to keep them in check or there wouldn’t be any bunnies or squirrels for counties.

Coyote on the hunt in Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

Hit the jump to see a couple more shots of this Coyote located out in Montana.

Continue reading Does It Spy Eyes on the Side

Icy Drizzle or Shine, That Grizzly’s Mine

Remember when I mentioned the BIG bears were going to be coming up?  Well, I get to make good on that promise!  Yep, today I bring you the heavy hitters in the Ursus category.  As of late, I’ve focused on the American Black Bear because that has been the primary bear encounters we have had in the wild.  The Grizzly below was the only one we encountered on our May 2013 trip

Grizzly Bear Shot at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

That folks, was one big Grizzly.  It definitely rivals the previous Grizzly we saw out there (link here) and definitely closer.  From a picture perspective, these shots have an odd grainy grey  shine to them.  There is a reason for that – it was SLEETING at that time these were taken.  Not just a bit of sleet either – it was an all out ice downpour that made it quite difficult to get a decent shot.  The Beast doesn’t mind the harsh shooting conditions, but my fingers were freezing and my eyes were taking a beating – a few shots into it I decided to just enjoy the moment.  For those that have seen the remake of the Walter Mitty movie, remember the point where Sean O’Connell declares that he doesn’t like to have the distraction of the camera – that part of the movie always brings me back to times like this.  The point where you stop concentrating on all the technical camera details and focus instead on all the wonders nature has to offer.  The world tends to get distorted looking through the tunnel of big glass.

Grizzly Bear Shot at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

For those that may not be up with their Grizzly trivial, you might be surprised to know that the term Grizzly  Bear isn’t the term used by the wildlife scientists.  Nope, those hoity-toity elitists use the clearly more boring moniker of North American Brown Bear – dud.   According to our friends over at Wikipedia, the Grizzly name was actually given by Lewis and Clark – referring to it as grisley in reference to the golden/grey hair tips.  Apparently this just had to be corrected in 1815 – could have at least named it something like the Humpty Bear or maybe the much more accurate Skaryazshit Bear.  Did I mention these beasts have males ranging in the 400–800 lb range and females in the 300-400 range?  For reference, Black Bear males have a high end of the scale at 550 and the females are a little closer topping out at 375.  Honey, where is that bear spray!

For snicks I processed out the sleet to give a better view of how these majestic animals look under normal conditions.

Grizzly Bear Shot at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

It is officially time to close out the bear posts from Yellowstone.  We were blessed with a number of sightings while we were out there and was excited to finally get them posted on the blog for all to share. Don’t worry, I still have a number of different posts coming from Yellowstone.  I need to get through these so I can get to all those other shoots I’ve fallen woefully behind on.