Yellowstone Reports

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Stranded Book Log Part 4

by Dan Hartman

July 14, 2013

     Day 11

     Kelly went with me today.  Windy and cold.  I climbed down to my usual spot and set up my camera.  Within minutes I had pikas emerging all around me.  I took a few shots but really wasn't getting anything special.  Farther across the slope in another rock pile I spottd two tiny babies scurrying around, so I packed up and changed positions.  An adult emerged to sit and watch me but the youngsters stayed hidden.  After an hour I gave up.

     Day 12

     I tried a different location farther upslope today.  Morning light was just starting to dance around me when screaming sounded from deep in the rocks 20 feet from me!  A few seconds and all was quiet again.  I waited for something to emerge but nothing did.

     As full sunlight bathed the slope an adult appeared just below.  It soon scampered off, then from the same rockpile, two youngsters emerged.  Venturing in different directions they began picking yellow flowers for breakfast.  This continued for an hour or so when one appeared to my left carrying a mouthful of dried grass.  He eyed me for a moment before slipping down into the rocks at my feet.  A slow hour passed and I was considering packing up for the day, when suddenly he popped out, eyes heavy with sleep.  Laying out on a rock, the little fella stretched out and yawned.

     So he had gone in for a nap.  Was the mouthful of grass his blanket?

     41 mountain goats below East summit.

     Day 13

     Dark and windy.  As I drove up the West Summit, I considered turning around and working birds in the foothills.  It was sunny down there.  But then I thought, maybe a predator might be out on top.  A premonition?

     I parked at the top, threw on an extra coat and started down into the rocks.  Suddenly a fox appeared.  He spotted me and stopped but at the same time something caught his attention just below.  In a flash he raced into the rocks, stuck in his head and jumped out holding a golden-mantled ground squirrel in his jaws.

     I dropped my pack and pulled out camera and lens.  There wasn't time for a tripod so I stablized against a rock and began firing.

     The fox moved out into the open and dropped it's catch, then began to eat.  Since it was farther out now I turned to dig my 2X from my pack.  A sound made me jerk back around.  My camera and lens were rolling off the rock.  I grabbed but was too late.  The camera and heavy 300 2.8 lens went crashing down into the rocks, sending pieces of plastic and metal flying everywhere!


View slide show

Pica At Dawn

Bringing In Bedding

Stretch And Yawn


Fox Grabs A G M Squirrel

$7000 Picture? Nope !!!