Drama on the North Fork

I never thought I’d become attached to a moose cow and her calf, but as we all know, our feelings are out of our control.  The story of these two started when a moose cow ventured to a secluded area to give birth. Her little calf was born on May 21 on an island in the middle of the Shoshone River, just twelve miles outside of Yellowstone’s East Entrance.  That’s not too unusual,  since moose often give birth on islands to keep their helpless calves safe for the first few days of their lives. Unfortunately this year’s extremely warm weather caused the mountain snows to melt rapidly, flooding parts of the Shoshone.  Read more...

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Scarface – Yellowstone’s Grand Old Man

Grizzly Bear #211, known to photographers and bear watchers as Scarface, is one of the biggest wildlife celebrities in Yellowstone National Park.  At 24 years of age, this legendary bruin got his nickname from the extensive facial scarring on his massive head.  To many who visit the park, grizzly bears are an enduring symbol of the true wildness of Yellowstone.  Viewing these magnificent animals is an unforgettable experience, but a sighting of the renowned Scarface is even more memorable.

Born before the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone, Scarface has seen many changes during his long life. Over the years, he has been observed in almost every corner of the park, although the meadows and slopes surrounding Mount Washburn are a particular favorite.  Read more...

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The Sad Story of a Wild Grizzly-Yellowstone’s Dunraven Sow

“Female Grizzly with four cubs observed near Dunraven Pass”.  It was the summer of 2007 and that was the first I’d ever heard of the bear who came to be known as the Dunraven sow.   News of this amazing grizzly family was posted on the internet and even featured on the local news.  Since bears with four cubs are a rarity in Yellowstone, photographers and wildlife watchers flocked to the park to get a look at this grizzly and her cubs.  At the time, bear researchers were unsure whether the Dunraven sow had given birth to all four cubs or had adopted some.  Read more...

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Rolling Thunder-The Bison Rut in Hayden Valley

For some it would be the grizzly bear, for others perhaps the wolf or the elk, but if I had to choose an animal to symbolize Yellowstone and the American West, it would be the mighty bison.  I’m a bit partial to these magnificent creatures who will always hold a special place in my heart.  Majestic and powerful, bison have been revered by Native Americans for centuries. As I look around my home decorated with sculptures, paintings and photos of bison, I am the first to admit that I too am under their spell. Not surprisingly, bison are one of my favorite animals to photograph and each year I look forward to seeing the herds gather together in Yellowstone during the summer months. Read more...

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Tracking the Gray Ghost – the Wolves of Northwestern Wyoming

A small herd of bull bison leave Yellowstone Park every autumn to spend the winter months at lower elevations in the Shoshone National Forest. Although this winter range is more hospitable than the high country of Yellowstone, it is plagued by howling winds which often gust over 70 miles per hour. (Sandy Sisti)

A bison bull heads into deserted Clearwater Campground in the Shoshone National Forest.

Early spring is a quiet time of year in the Shoshone National Forest. Once bustling with wildlife activity, the forest is now almost silent.  Bighorn sheep still frequent the area, but the rams have concluded their dramatic battles and quietly return to small bachelor herds.  Tiny northern pygmy-owls are no longer calling in search of mates and leave the pine forests they once frequented in search of higher ground.  In March, large elk herds begin to move to the river bottom to feast on vegetation but the herds disappear before the first rays of sun appear over the horizon.  Read more...

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