Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 41- Sarah Heller

My, oh my, these kids woke up early today. I was fast asleep in my nest when the pots and pans started banging around at 5 am. From up here it looked like the girl they call Molly cooked biscuits and gravy with some help from Katy and Brandon. I followed their white vans from high above as they approached Yellowstone National Park. Whoa! Hit the brakes, there’s bison crossing the road!

The first stop the kids made was to Lamar Valley. There was a lot of action happening here, with cars lined up along the road and people outside with their binoculars. I flew across the valley and saw they were watching a pack of wolves. A man named Colby was teaching them about the research Yellowstone is doing on its’ wolf packs. There were even 5 wolf pups out in the valley running around.

I soared high above as they loaded back into their vans and headed towards Mammoth Hot Springs. A river wound alongside the road and the students gazed out at its’ ‘rocky’ waters. When they arrived at Mammoth I watched them go into a building and they said they were meeting with Bob. When they came out I heard them talking about some of the youth programs that Bob helps run here at Yellowstone. I perched in a tree as they ate their lunch in a nice grassy area.

Then they dispersed around the grounds and it was hard for me to keep track of all of them. I saw Jen, Brittany, and Monica go into the Visitor’s Center as Nicki met with Steve and Jeff for her student evaluation. After they came outside there were elk on the Mammoth lawns. It is rutting season right now for the elk and bugling can be heard all around. Many of the students witnessed a bull and cow mating and if they were to come back in June, they could see the offspring.

I followed Corey, Molly, Justin, Heather, Tony, and Sarah along the Gardiner trail as they hiked up above the Mammoth area. It was a beautiful view out over the mountains and valleys that they were able to see. A few of them checked out the terraces that have the hot springs running out of them. These formations are very unique and are ever changing.

I then followed them across Mammoth as they were to meet with Rick to learn about bison. Yellowstone currently has about 3,700 head of bison roaming within its boundaries. I watched the kids load into their vans for the final time and head for Madison Campground. They started cooking up a stew for dinner and it was getting dark. I’m not sure if these kids ever sleep! I know it’s time for me to get back to my nest for the evening.

Good night to you ECOEE followers.
‘Baldy’ the Eagle

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