Tonight we saw the Druids in Lamar Valley. All four adults, 480M, 302M, 529F and a grey female, were spotted at Round Prairie heading west as they traveled along Soda Butte Creek. The Druids appeared in a line along the south bank of Soda Butte Creek traveling west quickly through the woods, past Soda Butte Cone and Hikers Bridge up the slopes towards Cache Creek. 480M and 302M are not the solid black I remember them as. As they shed their winter coats they look greyer. 529F looks like 286F, who I think was her mother. A black wolf originally, she is now a charcoal grey. I do not remember her well. I remember seeing her last May playing on a patch of snow with another grey yearling and her mother.
    This pack is very much a favorite in the Park, though only the females are original Druids. People are attached, and very attached to the memory of the females' father, 21M. I've heard it said that 529F is like 21M. They have been lying low, staying out of sight, not even howling. They do not want to reveal their location to any other packs. The unknowns may have done the Druids a big favor by dispersing the Sloughs. 480M seems a practical leader. I am especially impressed that they know how to stay out of the paths of other packs. Unfortunately that was the last we saw of them.
    Anne showed us where the owl in Lamar Canyon was this morning. A great horned owl, she is a beautiful golden brown with dark brown spots on her breast. Her nest is a mass of sticks hidden in the branches and needles of a tall pine. Later in the afternoon she perched to the side, revealing two fuzzy white heads with beaks popping up and down.
    Different species of birds are nesting everywhere. From Tower we could see several osprey nests and a peregrine falcon nesting in a crevice in the canyon wall. It's a very interesting and strange sight to see the falcon almost wedged in the rock, blending in with the canyon wall.
    Down the road in the meadows surrounding Roosevelt Lodge we watched a fox hunting ground squirrels. He was thin with long legs with brown stockings and shedding a tri-color coat of brown, grey and tan. He dug out a hole, dirt flying everywhere, finally catching the squirrel.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2006