The wind was howling this morning. Kelly was along and right away we realized it was going to be impossible to photograph on the summits. I've got a spot just above Rock Creek Overlook where one can climb up onto a natural hollow. Here you're out of the wind and the rocks are alive with pika, golden mantled ground squirrels and marmonts. Also the whole area is ringed with white-bark pine trees. The only downside is half of the trees have died.
We worked the area for a while then headed back down to the cabin. Along the way we spotted a cow moose near the Fire Tower road entrance, then east of Fox Creek, a grizz grazed out in a meadow. I was surprised to see one still this low.
It had rained all night, so the way up to the Beartooths was fogged in. I reached my favorite pika spot and began working along a rocky ridge. All around me was closed in with fog but the little rock rabbits didn't mind and were busy gathering grasses. I had been so engrossed with photographing I didn't realize the fog had dissipated. I noticed now and was a little taken back! A few feet to my right lay a sheer drop of 200-300 feet. Far to the east rose Beartooth Butte and farther on Pilot-Index. To the South, the haunting Sawtooth Peak and many peaks beyond. For awhile, I had been like the pika. My whole world was just what I could see close around me. But now a curtain had been lifted and the realization of what a tiny speck this slope was against the huge Beatooth-Absaroka Mountain Range.
I'm filling in gaps for the book, working on scenes, flowers, insects and redoing shots I know I can improve on. One such shot is of pika running through the rocks. Well, today I got that photo! I was getting shots of a pika hauling in grasses to his main pile. He was pretty much oblivious of me, although he once came down to where I stood and sniffed my shoes! Any way, he suddenly appeared on a rock fifty feet away and I sensed something cool was about to happen. The nearest rock was a foot and a half away. Would he make the jump? I swung the camera and focused. Then just had time to engage the motor drive when he jumped! Got it!
Note: A band of goats appeared at the mineral lick just east of West Summit this morning. Still no wolverine.