I’m playing catch up a bit at the moment. Back in September I had a trip to the USA, when I managed a few days in Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. I’m not sure what I expected, but the park was different from what I thought it would be. I think I was expecting a bit more of a wilderness experience; with the park being very popular for most of the year there are also a lot of other visitors. I think if I had more time, camping in the backcountry would have probably given me more of what I was expecting to feel. Even with that said it was a great experience to be there. With the park the size it is I decided early on that I couldn’t cover it all, so even though I visited all parts of the park, my main focus would be on Hayden valley as it was closest to my accommodation. Bison were the main interest in the valley, but the weather conditions brought mist, frost, fog, hail, rain, thunder and lightning, all producing an opportunity to produce a wide variation of images in the few days I had.
What surprised me the most was that most of the park is densely forested. Without having sign posts to some of the attractions and others being close to the road, you would never see them or know that they existed. The classical view of Yellowstone on TV is of the more open areas near Old Faithful, Hayden and Lamar Valleys. They give a much wider view and tend to be the focus for most of the wildlife activity. It is happening in the rest of the park, but you just can’t see it through the trees!
I was out before dawn to record the sound of bugling male Elk, when the scene above revealed itself. Although I could hear the Elk regularly, I only managed a brief glimpse of three females while driving to Lamar Valley. It seems in the rutting season, the Elk tend to travel to higher ground, so I never managed to see a male actually bugling.