Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hump Day in Paradise

When I walked outside at 6:30 this morning, a mighty big bison was slowly making his way up the hill behind the dorm. Even at a good distance and elevation, his head looked massive when he turned in my direction and his horns looked very sharp.

I haven't done any hiking yet because I have a cold and congestion, but this morning I at least made it over to the lower part of the Lower Terraces. Here's the moon over Palette Spring.

Sure, it's fun to see the bison and bears, but there are lots of small animals here too who deserve appreciation. Just after I photographed this cottontail,

a raven came calling and flying low. The rabbit headed under the boardwalk, the raven came straight at me and low enough that I instinctively ducked. Just as the raven approached me, she flipped over so that she was flying completely upside down while passing over me. I have no idea what this means in raven behavior, but it was very cool to witness. Maybe it's just for flying fun, but some websites suggest it is part of courtship behavior. If a raven wants me, baby, she had me at "Croak".

You say ants are a problem at your picnics?

Around here, there's only one way, and it's the elk way.

The rangers had an area near the visitor's center blocked off today because a grazing cow had her calf stashed nearby. I looked from several angles but couldn't see the calf.

My roommate moved out today to go to a different location in the park. It's my fifth night in the park and I've already disposed of two roommates. I probably won't have a single for long, but I won't complain while I do. After work, I switched sides of the room--it was a tossup, but I took the window and bigger bed over a lot more shelf and drawer space and a reading light right over the bed. I think the only desk now falls on my side of the room also. I sit here typing, satisfied with room and board and job, listening to Ben Webster, looking forward to clear lungs for hiking, wishing you well.


Allan Stellar said...

Ran across this by Michael Yates about working in Yellowstone (although his chapter on working there in the book is better)



Allan Stellar said...

oops... it didn't copy correctly...


greentangle said...

I look forward to reading what he wrote in his book about his experience here. What he writes here is very true as to the company pitching itself as super-green. As for the rest, it was a lot more fun coming from Ed. Seeing it here presented as apparently serious proposals, it looks pretty foolish to me because it's so obviously never going to happen.

Personally, I might agree with him that the parks might be better left much more wild, but I think that would certainly translate into them having much less support. And saying build more trails and campgrounds while eliminating other human-centered activities seems like nothing more than personal preference not based on any leave it wild philosophy.

It seems to me that the fact that the hotels etc which he wants to eliminate are here actually does make the park far more accessible to the young, and the poor (like me)--if there weren't jobs here for us as the result of the tourism he wants to eliminate, I never would have gotten here. The place is going to be just as remote to most people no matter what's happening here.

Incidentally, it's free to get into Yellowstone this weekend, and will be again some weekend in August.

Allan Stellar said...


I agree with what you write about Yates and Yellowstone. And who can compare to Abbey on most anything?

Still, I have to give Yates an "A" for effort. Afterall, here is a marxist economics professor who spends his retirement working an odd job in Yellowstone.

What is important about the book isn't that it is half as engaging as Abbey. Economics professors rarely reach that pinnacle. What is good about the book is the human story that he tries to tell.

We need more books on the enviro Left that are personal and tell a story. Books that get their priorities right. I find that refreshing. Even if they are written by high brow professors who spend their retirement traveling here and there, taking hikes in National Parks and sniveling about this and that.

I guess that is what I liked about "Tree Spiker". Roselle tells a story. We need more stories. Just like your blog tells an excellent story (in my opinion). I just watched "Whale Wars" for the first time last night; the human/whale drama connects with people's hearts. And that is what we need to connect to on the Enviro Left. :)

Just my thoughts...


greentangle said...

I agree and am guessing I'll enjoy the book more assuming he tells more about his personal experiences.