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We drove into the Park a little after 4:00 p.m. and
headed straight to Swan Lake Flats.
The Park is very quiet; there is hardly anyone here. Swan Lake Flats looks very green, but the Lake itself
has a crust of ice covering it almost entirely.
Two Trumpeter Swans dove at the edge of the shore.
There are elk everywhere - more than last October, I think. They are shedding their winter coats
and are very light coats, almost beige, with patches of brown fur sticking out. The bulls have
begun to grow antlers again. Some are small, like little bones, and some are beginning to look
quite impressive. All are covered with velvet. The bison, too, are everywhere and there are
some babies. We saw three in Little America right after passing the picnic area.
We saw two grizzlies foraging; one across from the Hellroarin Lookout and
the other at Amethyst Bench.
The bear at Hellroarin was very silvery with a dark face. Near Petrified Tree, on the north side of
a moose with two knobby little antlers was feeding in the grass.
Past Tower Junction, right before the Yellowstone Picnic Area, stood a big horned sheep and a very
gentle looking young ewe on the side of the road. Neither seemed very disturbed by the presence of
onlookers taking their pictures. In fact they seemed to pose, welcoming photographers.
We stopped at Dave's Hill and saw the Slough Creek Pack den site and some elk, but no wolves.
A group of adults had just taken off, probably to hunt. I'm sure we will see little ones tomorrow.
The light was fading and it started to rain shortly after, but not bad for a first day.
Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer
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