It rained all through the night, drops pounding on the roof, not letting up until close to 8:00 a.m. We got up late, and headed out the door around 8:30 a.m. A mule deer doe grazed in front of our cabin with her daughter, a curious little grey creature. She peered into the windows of the empty lodge, her little white tail wagging nervously back and forth. Such a delicate looking creature with big ears and big brown eyes, and a body too small for her long legs.
   We had excellent wolf viewing this morning from Boulder - thirteen Agates on an escarpment near a carcass, probably an elk. It could have fallen from the ledge above after being chased. All the pups were there, though I was only able to count nine wolves at once. Tim pointed out 113M, the alpha male and 472F, the alpha female. Both are very beautiful grey wolves with dark markings. 113M has a very long saddle and black tipped tail. Their behavior was the usual milling around after dinner. We were able to see them better from the parking area north of the Yellowstone Bridge. When we passed by this evening, people were still watching the wolves.
   We hiked into Blacktail Deer Plateau today, up the hills into the meadows that roll on and on. This is Leopold Pack territory and it is certainly prime real estate for wolves. I cannot think of a better place for a wolf to be. We read on information tablets at the Children's Firehole Walk that there is less precipitation in this area of the Park and the forage is especially good, making it very attractive to elk and other wildlife. It is a beautiful, peaceful area. We sat and watched a bull elk protect his harem of 27 cows. They were very aware of our presence, almost every one of them staring at us, even as far away as we were. There was another bull elk lying in the grass on a hillside and the bulls bugled back and forth. Still another grazed behind a hillside. Today was a much better day than yesterday. The rain stopped, we hiked and the moon is almost full with a clear sky filled with stars.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2006