With ten minutes to go before reaching the airport, I decided that I needed a picture which included me for posterity. No sooner than the thought occurred to me, so did the perfect location. All in all this was a wonderful way to conclude my first 50 years. I am truly blessed and will return home knowing that and looking forward to sharing stories of my adventures with the people I love.
I watched this coyote hunt for almost twenty minutes while I photographed him. Although he made several attempts to pounce on various prey he had still not made a kill when I had to pack up and head south for the airport.
As the sun sets I seek out a tent site above Tower Falls. I bypass the campgrounds for a nice back country site where I can hear the sound of the falls, the wolves howling and the elk bugling while enjoying a starfield on a moonless night that surpased any other I have ever witnessed.
There are some photos you will have an opportunity to shoot but once in a lifetime. Fighting to win a harem of some 20 cows, these massive bull elks engage in deadly combat. I have a sequence of some 20 photos depicting this all out battle. Trust me when I say these are very dangerous animals and you need to keep your distance.
After many years of trying, I captured an image of a mature Bald Eagle, in flight no less. It was the only one I saw during my entire stay and it was in view for less than 20 seconds as it cruised the Yellowstone River in search of a meal.
One of my favorite wildlife photographs of the trip, perhaps because I had to hike so far to get it. One heard of elk has occupied the town of Mammouth Hot Springs where they enjoy resting on the manicured lawns and showering when the irrigation sprinklers burst into action. It is a total side show as the tourists jockey for position to take pictures with their cell phones. I prefer photos where I can capture wildlife in their natural habitat even if it means lugging my 15 pound 800mm lense and tripod up the side of a mountain.
During my four day visit I log about 600 miles of driving as I seek to explore every corner of the park. One incidental benefit of the forest fires is that they have open up vistas that would be otherwise obscured by the very tall pine trees.
As night falls, I spot this bull elk and his harem high on a ridge. By the time I am finished photographing the elk it is very dark and I decide to stay in the campground at Norris rather than stumbling through the wilderness in search of an open area to pitch my tent. The chatter of the other campers, however, convince me that I will find a back country site tomorrow evening. Each night I heat a can of soup on my portable stove for dinner which warms me up in advance of the very cold night.