Friday, August 13, 2010

More Bad Photos

It's been another week in Yellowstone, where summer might be over. The temperature was about 20 degrees below average today with a strong chilly wind and showers which felt like snow wasn't far away. The heat rattled the pipes in the office.

A couple coworkers who've been working summers here for many years left today for medical reasons and aren't likely to be back. They're not the first people I've known here to leave suddenly. It's a strange life, knowing that every relationship you have will, on the one hand, only last five months, but that on the other hand, those five months could be repeated for many years. An odd mix of distance and closeness develops even between people who only nod at each other every other day.

I walked out of the dorm early one morning with camera in backpack and was instantly confronted by this.

I didn't witness it but one morning rangers on horseback and armed with shovels drove the elk away from the visitor's center and up into the hills. Hardly seems in keeping with the don't disturb the wildlife motto, not to mention that many tourists come to Mammoth specifically to see the elk. Have no fear though, there were several around the employee dining room for breakfast today.

I didn't witness this one either but I've heard reports of traffic jams caused by mating bison blocking passage. They must have been listening to The White Album. Why Don't We Do It in the Road?, for the youngsters and non-Beatles fans amongst us.

I was happy to finally get some photos of perched mountain bluebirds. They're bad photos, but at least you can tell they're birds and blue.

I'm signed up for a group hike tomorrow which might give me my first view of a grizzly bear on foot. Me on foot, I mean, not the bear--I've seen them from vehicles. I've heard one recent report from a hiker seeing one from one of the trails we'll be on, and another report from someone driving by the area and seeing one several times in the past couple weeks. Actually, I've thought of not doing the hike for various reasons but the chance of a griz encounter will probably get me there.

There's another group hike I'm scheduled for in two weeks, but I probably will skip that one because I just learned of the Yellowstone Music Festival which is the same day and sounds like something I need a lot more right now.


Northland said...

Good to hear that you are having tolerable temperatures there. I mean temperatures below 70 - mountain weather.
I'm just back yesterday from paddling Pictured Rocks from Munising to Grand Marais in heat that made me glad that we could swim in Superior. The water near shore was close to 70 degrees.Quite a few people dying from drowning this summer, getting caught while swimming in waves by the undertow. A lot of rain and storms this summer so the blueberries are plump and sweet. Heat that is good for fruit, but not for me.
I'm tired of camping in sand, from the Apostles to Grand Sable Dunes. Good to be getting back to the basalt rock of Isle Royale soon.
There is a sort of emptiness that I feel when taking leave of the people that I have shared some intense days and nights with. Probably similar to your co-workers leaving after months of a relationship. I occasionally cross paths again, but there is never any surety. Sometimes I hope to never see them again...

greentangle said...

Yes, I love below 70. I think Duluth has set a record for most consecutive days over 70 so it's been a good summer to not be there in that sense. I'll always miss Lake Superior though--glad you're enjoying it.

Good to hear from you and what you're up to.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora GT,
Been having problems with my broad band so have only just been able to catch up on the photos and words. Great stuff.