Wyoming Critters

I still haven’t figured out how to take really crisp pictures of wildlife. I’d like to say it’s because I don’t have a billion dollars to spend on those ginormous lenses that I see other better endowed photographers using while I glare at them from behind my kit lens. But I refuse to give into the idea that photography is a field in which the size of your wallet determines your ability to make art unless I win the lottery or something and then watch out! Karen’s going shopping!

Wyoming is critter heaven, especially the Lamar Valley, the east side of Yellowstone. But I didn’t know that at first, so I took pictures of any critter I saw.


I had no idea what was to come. I saw every animals I wanted to see except for a fox and a wolf, though I did see a really awesome picture of a fox on the cell phone of the nice British guy who camped next to us at Holly Lake (more on that in another post) because THE FOX WAS APPARENTLY JUST HANGING OUT WITH HIM WHILE HE SET UP CAMP BUT WHEN KAREN WANDERED INTO THE WOODS CALLING OUT TO THE FOX AS SWEETLY AS SNOW WHITE IT MADE LIKE A DAMN GHOST.

Although I did in fact see a black bear cub, a grizzly bear, and a moose, you’re not going to see pictures of them. Here’s why.

  1. I saw the black bear cub from the car and if we had stopped or even slowed down to admire it, the ranger directing traffic would have Luke Cage-d our asses loudly expressed his disapproval and I had too much respect for his hat authority. Besides, Bob was driving, and Bob respects hats outdoor leaders.
  2. I saw the grizzy from the car as well, and this time I braved the wrath of the ranger to snap a picture, but it was dark and I didn’t have a chance to adjust my camera and ended up taking the shot with a ridiculously slow shutter speed. There’s no point showing you because the picture is lower quality than most snapshots of Sasquatch. Seriously. Oh hell, here it is. grizzly
  3. As for the moose . . . well, we encountered the moose on the trail we were hiking. The moose was not happy to see us, which it indicated by huffing and walking slowly toward us, antlers lowered and weaving back and forth. One of my most vivid memories is of Bob giving me the “back the hell up” hand signal as he’s walking toward me and coming around the corner just behind him are these antlers. That’s all I saw. I didn’t get a picture because I was too busy running and screaming trying to practice good safety.

Anyhoo, while there were some mild wildlife disappointments, here are the highlights.

A gigantic male elk  in front of his harem, which he is    ignoring      bullying     objectifying  mansplaining the word “harem” to        protecting.


Some bighorn goats




including some really cute little baby ones.


Some pronghorn. At first, we only saw a peaceful group of females and young.


Then, I suddenly noticed on the ridge behind me that there was a male, and he was none too happy that we were all up on his ladies.


He promptly crossed the road and proceeded to glare at me from the woods.


Maybe not so interesting, but we saw some trumpeter swans, too.

But it was my few close encounters with deer that were probably the most thrilling. While hanging out at Solitude Lake in the Tetons, a group of four deer walked right by me. Although I was downwind, I sort of think deer in national parks just don’t care about people.





Then again, when I started following them, they looked at me for a long time, trying to figure out what the heck I was and if I posed a threat. The male was particularly interested.


One of the coolest things was waking up before sunrise and discovering two deer eating about 5-10 feet from our tent. They were magnificent.

Actually, I gotta admit that I’ve got a thing for bison. They are just so badass noble and capable of much ass-kicking powerful. This guy was just hanging out near the geysers


These guys walked right by the car.


There are herds and herds of bison all over Yellowstone, which makes me very very happy. I’ve never quite recovered from the scene of slaughter in Dances with Wolves, but images like this helped a little. A very little.


I like how this one is looking at me out of the corner of the eye.


And although the little kid part of me still really wanted to pet one, I was pretty content to watch them from the comfort of the car.



4 thoughts on “Wyoming Critters

  1. I’ve really been enjoying this flurry of posts. The writing comes off as so casual and snappy (not to mention funny).

    The squirrel photo is quite crisp, but it also contains the expectant energy of the moment after the shutter clicked, when I’m sure the squirrel hustled off that branch.

    Are you sure that isn’t a Sasquatch?

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