** July 2015 **
Texas summer has arrived - hot and dry. After a wet fall, and winter, and spring, life is back to normal, uncomfortable as it is. We wearied of the weather quickly - we are used to being outside in all seasons, but this year slammed us with cold and torrential rains and winds, flooding our neighborhoods and terrifying our dogs with thunder. Along with storms, El Nino brought an emerald landscape of lawns that had not seen grass in a long time and brilliant wildflowers. Hard to complain. We must take the good with the bad.
Summer has reached Yellowstone, too. Days are much warmer, sometimes reaching the 90s.
Wolves and other wildlife take to the trees, resting in the woods in the heat of the day. I have never seen Yellowstone in summer and I would love to see the wildflowers that bloom in July and the Lamar Canyon pups on their first adventures from den.
At this writing, only 755M's new family has been seen - 4 pups, two gray and two black. They are now officially the Wapiti Lake Pack. If we had been there in June, we might have seen them. Recently high pitched howls were heard from Hitching Post - the first song from the Lamar Canyon Pack's puppies. The wolf packs have changed so much I have almost given up on following them. The Lamar Canyons lost their alpha male and now 926F carries on, supported by wolves from the Propect Peak Pack who killed her mate. How strange is the wolf world?
The biggest surprise in the Park this May was Yellowstone Lake - unfrozen. In all our spring trips to the Park, even in June, the lake, if not frozen solid, has been at least edged with ice. The middle of May brought cold and sometimes rainy and snowy days, but winter's thaw was nearly complete. We entered a world of emerald green, snow patches only on the high ridges of mountains. Last September we took another detour and spent a beautiful week in Jasper National Park, but Yellowstone draws us back in this season when new life is everywhere, from wildflowers to bison and elk calves to bear cubs. Nothing compares.
Christine Baleshta - July 2015
** Book Release **
Christine has collaborated with collage artist
Susanne Belcher in Looking for 527,
a book inspired by the alpha female of Yellowstone's Cottonwood Pack who was killed in Montana's 2009 wolf hunt.
The book combines Susanne's haunting images with Christine's essay and is available on Amazon.com.
All royalties are directly donated to The Yellowstone Park Foundation's Wolf Project.
Looking for 527 on Amazon