DAY 4 - Friday, April 21

SNOW AGAIN!

My last day begins with 5 inches of snow on the car, heavy & wet.

And it continues to fall as I drive through the forest. The road is fine, though, and the snow makes everything look so pretty!

At Round Prairie I notice a moose acting very oddly. It runs through the willows, nose to ground, wheels and runs back the other way. It looks quite frantic, and at first I thought a wolf or bear might be chasing it. But it runs through several open areas and I can see the moose’s legs almost to the hoof, and there is nothing chasing it. Hmm, it doesn’t seem to be playing or just goofing off, it truly looks disturbed. Maybe it was stung or bitten by something? At first I thought it was interesting but now it’s kind of upsetting to watch. I wonder if it might have some sort of disease or maybe a parasite that is causing this behavior.

I continue west. There is nothing in the Soda Butte Valley so I keep going. I stop at Footbridge and Confluence to enjoy the quiet, snowy beauty. I watch a large flock of birds with dark bodies and whitish tails – no idea what they may be. There is a bald eagle perched in a tall cottonwood and I see dippers…dipping. Bison paw through the snow. I bet they thought they were finished with snow for the year!

I drive on and meet many more bison walking down the road with snow blankets on their heads and backs.

I end up at Coyote with a whole lot of other watchers. The Junctions are “up there” in the area where we know the carcass is, but visibility is too poor. Not that people don’t try, though. Doug has had a few glimpses but by the time others get their scopes on the spot, the wolf has disappeared. After several frustrating attempts I finally see a black head with ears in my scope.

Well, I’ve had so much wolf luck over the last three days, it was bound to run out. So I decide to take off for Bozeman a bit early. I say my goodbyes to Laurie and all the watchers in this lot and drive west. I stop at Slough where the other half of the April wolf watchers are, hoping to see Prospects in the den area.

Alas, visibility is bad here, too. So I say my farewells to Calvin & Lynette, Kirsty and Alan and off I go.

By the time I get to Tower the snow has turned to slush and by the time I get to Mammoth, it has become rain.

I reflect on my good luck seeing so many wolves on this very short trip. I even saw a chase! Well, that’s Yellowstone for you!

Today I saw: bison, birds, an eagle, moose, 1 Junction wolf and the spirit of Alison




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