American Serengeti

ungulate traffic.jpg .jpgThe northern range of Yellowstone has been dubbed by many the "American Serengeti" due to both the quantity and diversity of the wildlife. And I live right in the prime winter range of this area--creatures venture in my frontyard searching for forage at the lower elevations. I will miss my neighbors in the summer when they head for higher ground as I am now used to an assortment of animals greeting me when I open my door. See photo at right--that's my house and black Subaru amidst the bison, pronghorn and mule deer traffic!

rescue creek trail.jpgToday I hiked up the Rescue Creek Trail in search of bighorn sheep. I always hoped to see these delightful creatures in my wanderings in the Sierra high country, but the nearest I came was finding their scat on a hike up the Granite Divide. I've been lucky enough to see the bighorn twice since I've been in the park, but they're the one ungulate that doesn't frequent my front yard.

curious pronghorn.jpg copy.jpgIn just a five minute walk from my house, I arrived in a beautiful basin over 6,000 feet. I stopped frequently to scope out the ridge with my binoculars, and to watch the elk and pronghorn I encountered. I climbed up Rattlesnake Butte for a view of the Yellowstone River canyon, and tried to create an interesting backstory for the adjacent Turkey Pen Peak. For fifteen minutes I stood and observed two resting pronghorn antelope, but the bighorn sheep remained elusive.