Yellowstone Reports

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Winter Thus Far

The promise of Spring
by Dan Hartman

Feb. 4, 2014

    Now as we find ourselves sliding down the back side of winter, it's time to reflect on how the first half went.

     First off, economic wise, many businesses in the area like ours were hard hit by the two week government shut down.  What most people don't realize is, when the park chased everyone out in early October, they never returned.  And I mean the rest of the year!  We basically had no income for three months.  Even now, coming out of January, it was our lowest in years.  Many hesitated on making reservations under the threat of another shut down in mid January.

     Photography wise, as most of you already know, I've had to deal with two healing ankles.  None the less, I've gotten out now and then and was pleased to see life went on without me.  Bison pushing snow away with heavy heads.  Moose still browse the willows. Bighorn cling to the high and steep.  Coyotes pounce for mice and try to philfer from a wolf kill when they can.  And speaking of wolves, I see them pretty much every time out.

     Our marten returned after a months absence, acting like he'd never left.  I'd like to repremand him, but he's just too darn cute.  Most of our winter birds have learned (as have we) how to live with turkeys.  For a time they were reluctant to come in with the huge unfamiliar beasts patrolling our yard.  But now they seem to have reached a compromise after realizing they're all on the same side of the food chain.

     So now we'll watch for those special signs.  You know, little moments that promise that Spring is out there somewhere.

     Signs like the evening sun lingering a little longer, shortening those long cold nights.  Rosey finches suddenly appearing at our feeder and noticing the snow level actually dropping after a snowstorm.


View slide show

Snowstorm Bull Moose

Moon Rise


He's Back!!!

Stellers Jay

Mt. Chickadee

Mother Earth Peeking Out