Posted by: greentangle | May 15, 2013
I went along for a ride/hike last night. We stopped by the petrified tree looking for a moose but instead we saw a black bear with a cinnamon cub.
We went on to Slough Creek hoping to hike some of the trail there but the dirt road leading to the campground and trailhead was still chained off so we just walked the road to the campground. A sign announced that a bear had been seen near the campground the day before. We looked around but didn’t see a bear. I did find a track at campsite 5 and we enjoyed watching the creek behave more like a river. There was a lot of whitewater in places, the result of temperatures in the 60s and 70s over the past ten days.
Heading home, we stopped at the site of the earlier bear sighting and got a great reward. As we parked and looked into the dusky area, a black bear came racing up a trail with a second one in hot pursuit. Let me repeat –”You can not outrun a bear.” The way we were all positioned it appeared as if they were charging right at us. “Hmm, humans. Let’s eat ‘em.” I actually said, “Maybe you should close your window.” Satisfied that the first bear had gotten the message, the pursuer turned around and headed back while the first one continued on past us at a leisurely walk.
Posted by: greentangle | May 12, 2013
A couple elk were on the stairs of the post office yesterday, but just after I noticed and just before I took a photo, a bus parked and blocked my view.
I got the annual spooky first solo hike in bear country out of the way late Friday afternoon. I didn’t see any bears, but there were a few flowers blooming including shooting stars. Looking downhill through some trees, I saw some movement which I originally thought were the wings of a large bird, but they turned out to be the ears of mule deer.
The main wildlife encounter happened at the house right at the trailhead. To the left of the house where the trail is, a single bison was grazing. On the right of the house and much closer, were half a dozen elk. I didn’t want to turn around and start the hike from the other end so I started on the bison route since it would leave more distance between me and the wildlife. When the head raised and the eyes stared, I thought, “Let’s try the elk.” I pressed against the house (the judge’s house–trespassing as a federal crime) with the closest elk no farther away than the corner of the room where you’re reading this. She, chewing and seeming more curious than aggressive, took two steps toward me and I tried a method I had heard worked. I extended my arm a third of the distance between us and said “Stop” as a mixture of plea and order. She didn’t come an inch closer and my hike was underway.
I would have been cursing myself had I been watching from the other side of the street, but I gave myself some leniency based on motive. I wasn’t trying to get closer to the animals; I was trying to stay as far away from them as I could. The temperature has already been too high and the crowd too big, and I’ve already seen someone climbing over a railing and walking across one of the terraces.
The Mother’s Day shooting in New Orleans took place nine blocks from the hotel where I stayed a couple years ago, and I got within six blocks. Nothing compared to the thousands of times I walked by the sites of the Boston Marathon bombings. Here, a man despicable by all accounts I’ve heard including from someone who knows him, found a way to kill another wolf.
My application has been sent to Duluth. Thinking about it, I know that if I’m serious about trying to get this job, it makes much more sense to quit and move back before the test, since it is a multistage process of testing and interviewing. Repeated trips back and forth really isn’t an option. So I’m waiting to learn how much advance notice I’ll get of the test date, and thinking about what I’m going to do. Four years ago, I lost almost everything after lengthy unemployment in Duluth, but I’m having raging fantasies about cooking and having a room of my own again.
Posted by: greentangle | May 6, 2013
I got back to Yellowstone last Thursday, after a ride in which our company driver played a lot of obscenity filled music and then provided a lot of inaccurate information about the park to the new folks such as stating that we had long and short tailed ferrets in the park. I hadn’t been excited about returning, but it did feel good when I saw Gardiner and the few miles up the hill.
I hadn’t seen the ground squirrels before I left, but there were a few around when I carried my stuff back to the dorm after checking in. That night, my roommate and I headed out to Lamar Valley where we saw the distant moose below, and a fox in the road missing a tail who we imagined claiming that he was a lynx rather than a fox who’d had his ass chewed off. We also got a report that a couple black bears had just crossed the road but we didn’t see them.
What felt like the best news I’ve gotten in quite a while came in my email today–Duluth is hiring a couple people for the library. I went through the process when I lived there years ago but those jobs wound up not being filled because of the budget, a situation I don’t think is a problem now. I’ll fill out the application online, and likely will be invited to Duluth to take a written test I did well on last time. I will go to take it even if I have to quit to do so.
Posted by: greentangle | April 23, 2013
No more work til May. I’ll be heading up the road to Bozeman tomorrow for a week of relaxation and restaurants.
We’ve still been getting snow and it was down in the single digits last night, but the killdeer and bluebirds are back and I saw my first red dog (baby bison) last night. There was a moment which would have made a perfect photo, but by the time I was ready, there was just a blur hiding behind mom.
We wandered around McMinn Bench and Rescue Creek in a ferocious wind. That area is Ungulate City–bighorns, pronghorns, mule deer, elk, bison.
Posted by: greentangle | April 7, 2013
I’ve taken a lot of photos of this pool over the past few years. Here’s one from January.
Here’s how it looked a few days ago.
I’ll miss that pretty little spot.
I’m ill as a canine, sleeping through most of today which was the third sick day I’ve taken in the past week, so it’s just as well I’m not on the train to New Orleans. I was surprised how little disappointment I felt over canceling the trip, which I suspect means I knew I really wasn’t up to it. My research helped me find some good music new to me. I’ll work a couple more weeks here, then take a week break in Bozeman where I’ll go try the Cajun restaurant for the first time. This means I’ll be working the same job for almost eleven months with just one week off. Hardly seems like the seasonal life at all.
Posted by: greentangle | March 23, 2013