Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba

It’s gorgeous in this park, and I wasn’t entering this area with very high expectations. Wow – the scenery with the aspens set against the blue sky, the spattering of tiny lakes, and the diverse wildlife (including bison!) kept me happy for the two days I was there. This was the last shot I took in the park.

Definitely a place to return to at some point.

Absolutely idiodic

Watch this video.

It’s a “what not to do when encountering wildlife” video.

Something that I have witnessed, but not to such a degree.

And, what? The father laughs at the end? Don’t worry, Yellowstone is just a circus. You won’t ACTUALLY feel it when the bison gores you and seriously injures or kills your child. THAT IS SARCASTIC by the way.

It’s unbelievable. A few years ago, a child was killed by a bison when the father thought it was an a-ok idea to place his kid on the bison’s back for a good point-and-shoot picture.

Listen to the rangers, the pamphlets, and the signs: STAY 25 YARDS AWAY FROM BISON.

I just talked (rationally) about this a few days ago. Sorry, but this was absolutely IDIOTIC!

Top 4 hikes a la summer- #4 Specimen Ridge, Yellowstone

Welcome to Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. One of my favorite areas in this vast park.

I know I mentioned earlier that I would talk about my top 3 hikes this summer, but I just had to include my #4 pick.

At a starting elevation of 8864 feet (end 9600 feet), it’s very surprising if you happen to see anyone else on the trail (aside from a herd of pronghorn).

As the name states, it is one of the ridges of Amethyst Mountain, starting just past the Yellowstone River.  And you basically have this place to yourself. Not many people set out to hike this trail, that, as we discovered, had many paths.

And, as the name also states, you may see some fine specimen on this trail, including: pronghorn, grizzly bear, elk, bison, and rarely, moose.

Which path to take? Umm, we decided uphill was the way to go – the steeper, the better.

What my boyfriend and I found amazing about this hike, aside from the lack of people on the trail, was the glimpse we got of Yellowstone ‘behind the scenes’.

We could see, to our right, the Tower Falls area. A place where we spent countless hours watching two sets of black bears with cubs. We had no idea how enormous the area was behind the ridge. Imagine all the wildlife we would be able to spot if we could have seen into this area!! It just blew my mind.

To our left, we could see the entrance to the Lamar Valley, and again, our mouths were dropped at the areas we would never have be able to see from the road.

Difficulty? I would say moderate. It’s a high elevation hike, little shade, and steep hills. Make sure you have good hiking boots, or you might end up downhill skiing as I did on the way back.

Big Cranky Bison

Internet for 2 seconds again, yippee!!

Taken a few days ago on the Pelican Valley hike in Yellowstone. Such a gorgeous hike, but beware of the cranky bison next to the hiking path. He stared us down until we were out of sight.

Quote for a Sunday – Photography

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

– Imogen Cunningham

July 2011 - Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

More photography quotes.

Fantasy Friday – Get your grass on in Saskatchewan!

Keepin it in the country this week, as I fantasize about all the beautiful things I could see at Grasslands National Park, in Saskatchewan Canada.

Here’s my fantasy agenda:

1. View the Stars

Grasslands National Park is pleased to receive the designation of a Dark Sky Preserve. The Grasslands National Park Dark Sky Preserve is one of the largest and darkest in Canada! It is an excellent place to star gaze and to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. For astronomers, this is one of the best places to observe deep sky objects.

Source

2. Back-country Camping

Back Country Camping is a wilderness camping experience, where campers can randomly set-up tents within the park and enjoy the native prairie landscape with no services. Visitors are expected to park their vehicle on a gravel pull-off and set-up camp out of view – approximately 1km off- road or away from former ranch sites.

Source

3. Back-country Hiking

A wilderness hiking experience for the free-spirited hiker! Hikers randomly explore and enjoy the native prairie landscape without the constraints of trails, markers or limits! Remember to bring your GPS, map and compass!

Source

4. Photography (the right way)

All wild animals experience stress when crowded by humans. This is hard on the animal and dangerous. Wildlife behaviour is unpredictable, especially when females are with young and males are defending territory during the mating season.

The following distances are applicable in most instances. However, it is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back:

  • 100 metres from bison (unless you are inside a vehicle);
  • 30 metres from all other large species;

If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:

  • Bison is shaking his head, short charges towards you, loud snorting, raising of the tail;
  • If you see or hear a rattlesnake.

Source

5. Wildlife Viewing

Prairie dogs are scurrying about their business and short-horned lizards are sunbathing on rocky slopes. It is mating season for the bison herd, and they are often looking for a place away from visitors for some “privacy.”

Source

With any luck, this summer, with my plans in the works I will be able to give this beautiful national park a visit!

Picture of the day

When I was in Yellowstone this summer, as part of my 2 month camping trip, my boyfriend and I decided to leave quite early from the park. It was about 2 minutes in the car, on our journey to Jasper, that we decided we neeeeeded to stop in Hayden Valley to photograph the sunrise through some of the most densest fog I have ever experienced.

We both took some amazing shots in that 30 minutes of crazy fog, some great sunrise shots, ducks in the water, and all that. But right when we were finishing up, this dude below decided to walk by on the road beside my car…