Saturday, May 8, 2010
   Everything is green; the rivers flow evenly - not rushing. The eagles still occupy the nest near the Madison, the female sitting on the large mass of gray sticks, her white head popping up above the nest. Bison calves race alongside their mothers while a small elk herd gathers in the meadow where the road bends toward Old Faithful. Geese and sand hill cranes peck at the grass.
   Winter never leaves Yellowstone. It lies dormant, hiding somewhere in the wind and suddenly it's there. Crossing the Madison and turning south along the Firehole, at Nez Perce Creek the snow begins, large wet flakes melting on the windshield. Two bison calves take shelter under their mothers. We turn around and drive back towards Madison under a gray blanket, past the rain to blue skies.
   A coyote hunts next to a pair of sand hill cranes, trotting through tall grass looking for goose eggs while a young cow moose tries to escape visitors who crowd the edge of the Madison to get a closer look. She is nervous, young. Her fur changes from chocolate brown to light gray from her hind quarters to neck. She negotiates the river carefully, the water just reaching her elbows. Making her way across to the opposite bank and she walks up the steep slope into the trees.
   The sun begins to set and a swan ducks its head under one wing. Bison graze in the meadows above the river as the Madison flows quietly towards West Yellowstone. There is little snowpack so there is little snowmelt. We see several fishermen along the Gallatin and in the Park. Typically spring is not a good time to fish because of runoff, but this year is different.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

Click for larger image

Yellowstone Experiences 2010