Yellowstone Up Close and Personal
25 December 2009 Trip Report
~ December 2009 ~
Friday - 25 December 2009
It was an embarussment of riches in YNP today - arrived earlier than expected around 1:00 PM - Saw lots of elk in Mammoth and all the way through Blacktail Plateau. Ran into Rick and friends Chloe & Becky at Hellroaring. And suddenly we had Druids. (First time I have ever seen Druids from here). A carcass was in the neighborhood - we think 480 had just fed on it - he was moving away from it when I saw him. Two other Druids were spotted, then Chloe saw a wolf running - it turned into three wolves moving quickly away from the Druids - the Lava Creek Pack!
This newly named pack consists of two former Agate females and a male wolf that was collared in Montana.
They made their way above the area where the Druids were and we eventually lost them as they headed northeast.
The Druids I saw were 691F and the "new black male" who has been hanging out with the Druid females, keeping his distance from 480. Not sure who the other two black Druids were - although one could have been Dull Bar. Total, 5 blacks and 691 (gray).
For a while, only two Druids were visible, bedded in two separate spots, but we all did our best to help arriving visitors see their first wolf. Brian C showed up as did our own Frank Auwingwalker and several other Christmas-season-regulars.
Then Rick spotted the Mollies way over on Specimen Ridge - a long ways away (5 miles? 8 miles?), but even zoomed in to 60 power on Layla (my spotting scope) they were dots. But they were moving dots! All in all I counted 15!
Despite the distance, this was a lovely sighting because the pack was full of vigor and were perhaps on a hunt. The light-gray alpha female was far out in the lead and looking for something. The pack stretched out in a long line, making them easy to count.
At another point, ranks broke and the smaller wolves, perhaps pups, began to frolic. We thought they were headed downhill but then after a dog pile greeting/rally, they headed back uphill again. They were WAY up there, where the hillside is basically all white, bare and windswept. There were elk above them and to the west but no chase developed while I was watching. They eventually disappeared over a ridge.
Three packs and 24 wolves on my first day - now THAT's a Merry Christmas!
And before we topped it off with a great dinner at the beautifully decorated Mammoth Dining Room, we visited the hotel where I got to squeeze in a quick chat with our own dear Loon friend Mark R.
|I n d e x|
|Adult Programs||Entrances||Old Faithful Live WebCam||Visitor Stats|
|Amphibians||Entrance Fees||Pets||Volcano Observatory|
|Animals||Fall Closure||Phone Numbers||Waterfalls|
|Bear Management||Fishing Fees||Ranger Led Activities||WebCams|
|Bear Sightings||Fishing Regulations||Reptiles||Wildflowers|
|Biking||Getting Here||Reunions||Winter Closing|
|Boating||Hiking||Rivers, Creeks & Streams||Winter Opening|
|Books||History||Roads||Winter Weather Reports|
|Butterflies||Junior Ranger Program||Schedule||Wolf Project|
|Camping||Lakes||Search Page||Wolf Sightings|
|Campground Maps||Location||Spring Opening||Wolverine Help|
|Challenges||Lodging||Star Talks||Yellowstone ~ the Name|
|Chat Page||Lynx Help||Trip Planner pdf||Young Scientist|
|Clinics / Medical||Mammal List||Trip Reports||Youth Conservation Corps|
|Yellowstone National Park WebCams|
|Old Faithful Live||All Old Faithful||Old Faithful Static||Old Faithful VC||North Entrance||Mt Washburn||Mammoth||YVO WebCam|
|Gardiner, Montana||Silver Gate, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana||Cooke City, Montana|
|Livingston, Montana||Cody, Wyoming||Jackson Hole, Wyoming||Yellowstone National Park|
|Bighorn Rams||Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful|
|Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful||Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain|
|Black Bear||Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs|
|Black Wolf||Otters at Trout Lake|
|Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel||Otter at Yellowstone Lake|
|Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption||Old Faithful with Bison|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption Two||Pocket Basin|
|Fan and Mortar||Roaring Mountain|
|Grand Geyser||Rocket and Grotto|
|Old Faithful One||West Thumb|
|Cave Falls||Mesa Falls||Undine Falls|
|Gibbon Falls||Rustic Falls||Upper Falls|
|Lower Falls||Tower Fall||Wraith Falls|
|The Great Outdoors Net||Great Outdoor Recreational Places|
|Gardiner, Montana||World Humanity|
by John William Uhler
Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal