yellowstone national park

Yellowstone: Storm Point

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From Indian Pond, to forest, to meadow, to dunes, to lakeside and back again. Storm Point is a super slice of heaven.
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A glorious view of the mountains from the shore of the largest high-altitude lake in the lower 48, Yellowstone Lake.

Storm Point is my absolute favorite hiking trail in Yellowstone. It’s short, non-strenuous, easy to get to and the views are breathtaking. Additionally, I always have interesting animal encounters here. Last year it was an overly-friendly squirrel doing vaudeville, complete with a top hat and cane, right there at my feet. This year was no different. I witnessed a nail-biter of a marmot squabble during my walk. As I approached the rocky cliff pictured above, an older couple warned me that there was a marmot scuffle in progress so I grabbed some popcorn and pulled up a seat (or stump in my case). There was indeed an argument of some sort taking place and I caught the tail end (oooh no pun intended). The triumphant winner is pictured here:

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Sorry for the animal scavenger hunt here. I promise, if you look hard enough, you’ll see the critter peeking out through the dead limbs on the ground…with a satisfied smirk on its face.

The other marmot was sent packing and scurried up the dunes to nurse its pride on a large rock.

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Can you see the pouty face on the rock there?
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Here’s a closer look at the little fella. That, my friends, is the look of defeat. Poor thing. We all win some and lose some, in seemingly equal measure.

Then I literally ran into a rabbit. Yup, tripped right over it. Apparently, it has the right-of-way on the trail? Is this a rule I was not aware of?

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Yet another animal scavenger hunt! Camouflaged against a tree, you’ll see the little scalywag when I’m not running over it.

Then as I approached Indian Pond, right at dusk, I watched the deer graze around the edges and even saw one swim from one end to the other. Ahh… the wonders of nature never cease to amaze. We are all blessed to live in a world where we can witness such things. Don’t take any of it for granted.

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yellowstone national park

Yellowstone: Gull Point & Utah Dorm Life

Marmot friend

Gull Point is a new wetland complex this year because some of the old complexes are now closed due to nesting swans. My partner and I helped out the other crew on this one and it turned out to be a lot of fun. The day started out with us being dorm-bound due to rain so we cleaned the heck out of the place. Let me tell you, this dorm gets stinkier every year. It smells like butt. It doesn’t help that there was a marmot family living underneath it (one of the culprits is pictured above) but they were sent packing to a rocky slope nearby. They’re super cute but dang do they funk up a joint!

Anyhoo… we hung out and listened to the project leaders get interviewed for a newspaper. I love that my supervisor brings up things like toad orgies during an interview. It was extremely amusing. After that, the skies cleared and we kicked butt on the Gull Point sites. One wetland was basically an enormous lagoon off of Yellowstone Lake and we saw all species of amphibian hanging out there. It was clearly the place to be if you’re an amphibian or a fisherman.

The rest of my days have either been spent inside due to rain or inside due to that stupid lingering sinus infection (the rest of the field crew is jealous because I don’t have to experience just how bad the dorm smells). Some good drawings are coming out of it though so I can’t complain too much. After not having drawn even so much as a sick figure in twenty years, I find myself getting crotchety if I haven’t drawn something in over a week. My how things change.

So besides the marmots and robins, here are a few pics of some other beasts enjoying the smelly dorm life:

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Mule deer outside dorm

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