All photos by
Tim Springer
Christine Baleshta

   Today at Slough Creek, from closer in towards the campsite, I was able to see six adults and 10 pups. The adults were in and out of and on top of the den and meandering around in the sage. The pups were all over the place, crawling out of the den and into the sage, and climbing on the adults. We saw them nursing, too. Even the adults were playful with each other. There were a lot of wagging tails and a lot of rolling around in the sage. I noticed black pups and grey pups. Someone said they saw six black pups and four light pups. We returned late in the day around 6:15 p.m. just in time to miss a confrontation between a grizzly and five adults. Apparently, a grizzly came into the den area and one adult took after him like a shot, followed by four others. They chased each other and then the bear sat down and the wolves bedded down. The alpha male came out, the other wolves went with him and the bear wandered off. A grey wolf escorted the bear from the area, following at his heels. The bear and wolf carefully trod the rocky slopes, the bear looking back every now and then, and finally disappeared into the trees. The grey wolf continued down the slope through the grass and also disappeared into the sage. Someone saw him following an elk. It was a cold day, the morning particularly cold and snowing at 6:30 a.m. We hiked the trail from the Yellowstone Picnic Area and saw lots of marmots and a group of big horn sheep ewes. The ewes came very close to Tim while he took their picture, maybe within ten feet. We also saw two pairs of nesting osprey. One male caught a fish and landed on a tree to eat while we could hear his mate calling him. The views of the winding river are beautiful here and there is always wildlife to see. A bison died during the night in Little America, possibly killed or finished off by a grizzly. All we saw on it today were ravens and two immature bald eagles. A bison near the carcass seemed very disturbed by it all. He sniffed the carcass, stamped his feet and scattered dirt and finally butted the carcass with his head. At Petrified Tree area, close to Elk Creek, we found the black bear and cinnamon bear we saw near Tower Junction foraging in the deadfall. The coyote family is still at its den. Today we saw the female with the pups. We stopped this morning to get a closer look and by the time we carried the scope to the road they had disappeared! Later we drove by a gain and the light grey coyote was curled up at the den's opening, guarding it. Tonight we saw a third adult in the area, a darker grey with more brown in its face. We've seen a lot of moose this trip. We saw four today, two this morning as we drove to Lamar Valley, in a meadow near Round Prairie and two in a meadow near Cooke City this evening.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2005