According to my field guide, this is an antler bush.
Wait, there's an elk attached! I didn't actually realize antlers got so large so early in the year. This guy looks like a contender for passing on his genes.
It's been a busy week here in Yellowstone. I took a ranger led tour around the old fort--that ended with the owl photos I posted a couple days ago. I went to a couple of the slide shows which are presented nightly in the hotel--the most interesting one showed the history of the Mammoth area. My office used to be an ice cream parlor/barber shop and the area where I live used to be home to stage coaches.
One day at work, word spread that there were bears on the hillside above the building and everyone rushed to the back door to watch a cinnamon colored mom with two black cubs. A collective "Awww" went up from the crowd as one cub scampered through a wide open area.
And last night I went on a YCERP trip to Trout Lake. Elsewhere on the internet, you can find lots of photos of otters there, but I didn't see any so don't hold your breath.
Here's a shot of the steering wheel with a bison leading the oncoming traffic. This is very common here, but since I'm not in vehicles very often this was the first time I've actually witnessed it. At one point he turned his head and stared at the car behind as if to ask, "Why are you following me?" It was very funny. At least he stayed in his own lane.
Of all the photos I've shown you from Yellowstone, this one certainly doesn't look very dramatic, does it?
A pretty little scene taken from a steep hill across the road. So why were there fifty people with spotting scopes on the hill?
Well, you can't see any of them, but out in the area past those two trees, there be wolves. Three of them. And two pronghorn. And on rocks among the trees on the far side of the open area, wolf pups playing and waiting for dinner. Dinner wasn't served while I was there, but it was fascinating to watch the wolves moving gradually toward us as the pronghorn seemingly indifferently moved from left to right.
Wildflowers are busily blooming right now. Clearly (it's a joke, people!), I didn't put much effort into photographing them, but here are some for variety's sake.
Trout Lake is at the top of a steep climb. Here's a view of the trail.
I'm sorry, I mean a view from the trail.
16 hours ago