Tuesday, May 13, 2008 (Silvergate, MT)
   It's light at 5:30 a.m., the beginning of a cold, brilliantly clear day. Driving toward Norris the temperature is 15 degrees at the first of the Twin Lakes. We're looking for wolves, perhaps part of the Gibbon Pack, on a carcass near Madison junction two young women told me about yesterday. This morning only a small group of people gathers at the edge of the Madison River apparently waiting for something or looking at something. It is invisible to us. There are only geese now and elk grazing and bison crossing the river.
   At Old Faithful bison roam through the geyser area, too close to us. I have not been to Old Faithful for 6 years and forgotten how beautiful this area is. The stone formations and bubbling waters are fascinating. The eruption today with its tall, billowing cloud of smoke is magnificent against the clear blue sky. Most of the snow has melted in the thermal areas, revealing large meadows carpeted with green and our first bison calf north of Nez Perce Creek.
   Later we see a grizzly, probably a 2-3 year old, in the woods next to the Yellowstone Picnic Area. At first it looked like a brown black bear curled up into a ball. He wakes up and crosses the road to entertain the crowd of visitors armed with cameras.
   We stop at Slough Creek on our way to Silvergate. The Slough Creek Pack seems to have recovered from the trauma of its encounter with the Unknown Pack and denned next to their old den site on the side of the hill opposite Dave's Hill. Two adult wolves hover near the den site, a black/gray/white, probably 380F or 526F and a gray sub-adult who is a great babysitter. The site is far, far away, even in the scope and obscured by trees, grass and deadfall. Yet the wolves are still visible, tiny as they are.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2008