Monday, November 12, 2012

The Carcass

In other trips to Yellowstone, I had heard people talking about watching wolves on a carcass, but we had never had that opportunity.  On our September trip, many park visitors experienced the wonder of bears and wolves as they fed on the carcass.  The first few days, only the grizzly bears fed.  We heard at one point there were five grizzlies on the carcass.  We passed by every day, usually stopping to spend time.  On the last day we could finally see the skull to identify it as a bison carcass.

The prime viewing spot was at my favorite overlook at Hayden Valley.  Each day there were cars lining the valley - some at better vantage points than others.  There was also an active wolf den at the north end of the valley.

I had both my scope and my Sigma 300-800mm lens focused on the activity.  The carcass was on the other side of the valley from the road - Henry used Google Earth to estimate the distance at 3/4 of a mile.  It felt farther.  The scope can get you visually closer, but I don't have a good digiscoping system set up yet.  But when you crop in on photos with the 300-800mm, you at least have some good "memory" shots of the event.

In our early years of visiting Yellowstone, we didn't have a good scope. I was always grateful when people would generously allow me to peak through their scope.  While I don't have one of the expensive scopes, I now have a decent one.  It is my pleasure to pay back those people from my past by allowing other people to look through my scope so they too can see this marvel of nature in much better detail than their eyes or binoculars allow.