I was hoping to attend this year’s Loonion over Memorial Day weekend, but work requirements again got in the way of my Yellowstone plans. So I decided to visit in early May instead. It’s never the wrong time to visit Yellowstone but I knew I was coming too early for green-up. I hoped that the presence of a wolf den full of pups would make up for not seeing elk calves nor antelope babies. And I’m still so new to the Park I always enjoy seeing it at a new time of year. Perhaps this report will help you decide whether early May is a good time for your next visit.
I apologize for the length of each chapter. I always intend to re-edit them after they are posted but I never seem to get around to doing it. Maybe the historians of the future will eventually be glad of the detail. (LOL) Some of you may wonder why I include information that is generally known by wildlife watchers but I never know who is reading them so I try to make them entertaining for all.
Thanks, as always, to John Uhler for starting it all; to Ballpark Frank for his tireless planning of hikes that bring such happiness to those of us lacking regular hiking partners; to the many dear people of Yellowstone’s wolfer-community who, especially on this trip, made me feel so welcome. And to my friend Doug Dance, who I hope is in the Park right now. This is a shameless plug for his soon-to-be-published coffee-table book of extraordinary photos (with text), reflecting the entire year he spent living in Yellowstone. When I learn its title and publishing date I will post it here. If you don’t yet know of Doug’s incredible photos, check out the cover of “Decade of the Wolf” by Doug Smith and Gary Ferguson. That’s one of his.
And finally, I refer often in this report to “the spirit of Allison”. Allison was a shining-light of a woman, my friend and the Queen of the Loons. She passed away suddenly in December of 2003. Her loving family arranged for her ashes to be scattered on Kite Hill above the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in June of 2004. Many of us were in attendance at that ceremony. Thus, each time I visit the Park I feel her presence, and I hope always to share my trips with her.