It’s fall, so Yellowstone bound and down

Moseley bear

Good Wife Norma and I have plans to make a return fall visit to Yellowstone, the Bighorns, Pryors, Beartooths, Tetons and a whole lot more before snow flies … we hope.

The later you wait in fall the better for a host of reasons. Up, that is, until you get plastered by ice and snow and wind and closed roads. When we lived in northwest Wyoming there were three years in succession during which we were caught by snow or ice or wind or all three. In June. So, our flirtations with October carry a clear element of risk.
But when late fall comes together there’s nothing quite so divine.

Bugs are down. Horns and antlers (no, they are not the same thing) are in their photo opp prime. School is in session, so the Touron (half tourist/half moron) population is reduced (save for a horde of Gray Panthers like us).
Bears are down from the high country to river bottoms (where, by good fortune, we and the roads are too) feeding on the bounty of plump berries. See those squishy piles of purple smack dab in the middle of the highway? Slow down, berry-gorged bears are right there.

Elk are in the rut, bugling and chasing lesser bulls away from their harems, the creeks and rivers run low and pure. The deep, mountain forest is a bouquet of delightful sights and sounds. Do you know the unique whoosh and whisper of wind rushing through an evergreen forest? If not, please go listen for yourself. It’s nothing at all like the rustle and rattle of leaves on deciduous trees like ours.

The last fall season we were there we had grizzly bears feeding and posing for photos just a few hundred yards from our cabin.

Unnerving? Perhaps a little, however I find an element of adventure in the realization that, in this environment, man is not even close to the apex species. Kinda puts our shared human arrogance in its place, doesn’t it?

So, one of these fall days our merry troupe of three couples will saddle up the Ole’ Burb and see how far we can get.
With luck we’ll enjoy a few wildlife encounters. But not, we hope, anything quite as up close-and-personal as a photographer experienced in this image. Yes, that’s one leg of his tripod there in the lower left corner.

By the time I fired off this shot of the scene he had, as you may have guessed, vamoosed … leaving his gear to its fate. Rest easy in the knowledge that, faced with the same circumstances, I will do the same.

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