Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fire in Yellowstone, part 3

We entered the park on Sunday August 18. Kathy and I were leisurely driving along, looking at this and that. We came to a pull out with a ranger and a sandwich board with huge red FIRE INFORMATION sign on it. Being from Southern California, I though maybe we should see what he had to say, and besides that there was a big buffalo bull near the pull out that we could take pictures of.

Well, Mister Ranger said the Alum fire was about to jump the road, said the road may be closed soon between where we were and Lake village. I say , Oh, we are staying at lake, he says, you better hurry... We had to get from the red mark above Alum on the map here, to the yellow x. As we drove along I kept saying to Kathy, this feels just so wrong to be driving TOWARD a fire. We made it, but the road was closed later that evening between the two red marks.


Notice on the map the Alder fire, was burning too.Druid was slowing down snake and passage were not causing problems for park visitors. It was all about Alum.. as we walked to dinner around 6:30 that evening, the fire crews began to arrive, and kept arriving until 9:00p.m.

Then I noticed big tour buses, empty tour buses. I found out later we were under per-evacuation orders and the buses were brought in on stand by to take park visitors out if need be. Kathy and I were not too worried as we noticed the evening breeze was in our favor.

Life went on, just a tad smokey...

view of the Alum fire from our parking lot

view of alder fire from lake village

all that smoke made beautiful sunrise shots.

fire guys checking the fire movement and how many acres burned
When we left the park on the 25th, Alder fire was still active 4,240 acres burned, Alum, still active 7,070 acres burned. There had been 19 fires in the park this season, most burning under 5 acres

As devastating as these fires can be, life does return. in 2003 there were over 70 wildfires in Yellowstone.

One of which was the East fire, burning 18,050 acres.

Here is the East burn area today.

Tomorrow, Hot Stuff.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Yellowstone part 2, small stuff.

Big park, big mountains, big animals , big geysers, it 's easy to over look the small stuff...




Tomorrow, fire in Yellowstone.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Big and small, Yellowstone has them all.

I spent 8 days in Yellowstone national park. I have quite  few pictures I want to share, so many I think I will share them in installments.

Today's issue...Buffalo (Tatanka)

These guys are huge,they stand 5- 6.5 feet tall, can weigh over 1 ton, can run 40 mph. It was the middle of the rut, so must of the buffalo were in the valleys. Occasionally we saw one lone bull, here and there in the park, the park employees said they were bulls past their prime and would not be joining the rut.

Part of their display to impress the lady buffalo is rolling in the dirt, the bigger dust cloud you make the better... I have a some what blurred picture of a huge bull...throwing his weight around...
Here he is standing

Here he is rolling.

 I left the cars and people in so you can get an idea of his size. His lady friends were to the left out of the picture

Following are some shots of other bulls around the park.

 This fellow is pretty old, he has scars on his flanks. He was up in the mountains around the lake, pretty much done with the chasing women part of his life.

this is his take on tourist.

We went over to the Lamar valley were the ladies and calves were. Lots of young bulls there, rolling , pawing the ground, pushing each other around.

I saw a little red calf, a late season calf.

He should be as big as the brown calf behind him. Our wild life guide said it was likely he will not make it through the winter.

Tomorrow, the small stuff!