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Welcome!

Join me in my adventures in California, Yosemite and beyond! I've spent over twenty years in environmental leadership roles--and in two of the largest national parks, Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Through my work as the California Director for the National Wildlife Federation (my dream job), I'll enjoy sharing my encounters with wildlife and my explorations of California's beautiful landscapes with you--especially my favorite place on earth: Tuolumne Meadows and the High Sierra.

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"Life is a dog and then you die. No, no, life is a joyous dance through daffodils beneath cerulean blue skies. And then? I forget what happens next."                                        Edward Abbey

"Within National Parks is room--glorious room--room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve."   Enos Mills

"The animals of the planet are in desperate peril. Without free animal life I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen."                                         Alice Walker

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.”                                           Viggo Mortensen

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Beth's Tweets
Must reads! Some good books I am reading or rereading.
  • Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    by Larry J. Schweiger
  • The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea
    The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea
    by David Helvarg
  • Letters to a Young Scientist
    Letters to a Young Scientist
    by Edward O. Wilson
  • Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
    Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
    by Marc Reisner
  • The Future of Life
    The Future of Life
    by Edward O. Wilson
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    by Bill McKibben
  • Saving Homewaters: The Story of Montana's Streams and Rivers
    Saving Homewaters: The Story of Montana's Streams and Rivers
    by Gordon Sullivan
  • Pika: Life in the Rocks
    Pika: Life in the Rocks
    by Tannis Bill
  • The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
    The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
    by Sylvia Earle
  • Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
    Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
    by Douglas W. Smith, Gary Ferguson
  • Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History & Guide
    Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History & Guide
    by Thomas Turiano
  • The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
    The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
    by Richard Hamblyn
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    by James Hansen
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
    by Jon Stewart
  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
    The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
    by Susan Casey
  • Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe
    Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe
    by Jane Goodall
  • The Wolverine Way
    The Wolverine Way
    by Douglas Chadwick
  • Wolf: The Lives of Jack London
    Wolf: The Lives of Jack London
    by James L. Haley
  • Gloryland
    Gloryland
    by Shelton Johnson
  • Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska
    Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska
    by Hank Lentfer
  • State of Change, A: Forgotten Landscapes of California
    State of Change, A: Forgotten Landscapes of California
    by Laura Cunningham
« Happy Valentine's Day! Yellowstone wildlife l'amour | Main | A Lament for a Bison »
Sunday
Jan302011

The Little Bison Calf That Could

Late bison calf in Yellowstone leaping through deep snow (Photo by Beth Pratt)At the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, a small late-born bison calf wanders with his herd, defying all odds in surviving the winter. The calf, nicknamed “Zisa” (the Lakota word for orange), can be seen around the Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner areas, its bright reddish-orange coat standing out against the snowy terrain.

Yellowstone has experienced one of the snowiest winters in recent years, making foraging for the park bison even more challenging, and a calf born this late in the season is already beating the odds. As Harold Picton, author of Buffalo: Natural History and Conservation, observes: “such small, late born calves are unlikely to survive the winter.”

This past weekend the intrepid calf and his family wandered the area surrounding the Mammoth Hot Springs campground in search of forage, then headed south down the park road in the direction of Gardiner, causing traffic to stop due to the ensuing ‘bison jam.’ Delighted park visitors observed little Zisa as he leapt through the deep snow and followed his mother down the highway.

Once Zisa’s coat turns to brown, he’ll be difficult to spot, but park staff and visitors are rooting for him to survive the winter.

 

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