Third Time’s A Charm – Yellowstone NP

NOTE:  This blog was written in conjunction with my winter Yellowstone NP trip.  It was Part 3 of 4 total blog posts.  Recently, I happened to notice that it never was actually published.  Since I’m currently in the middle of an important work week, I thought it would be a good time to share it.  Hope that you enjoy.  🙂

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As we entered our 3rd day in Yellowstone NP, we were treated to lots of steamy landscapes and a light magical dusting of snow, all with full bluebird skies.

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Whether it was the backlit trumpeter swans floating on the river or the sparkling bokeh serving as the perfect background for icicle-laden pine needles, it was absolutely amazing.

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On this morning, we not only photographed mature mated pairs of trumpeter swans, but also were fortunate enough to get shots of sub-adult swans as well.  It was quite interesting to see how their appearance transforms as they mature.

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On our way south in the park, we stopped at Norris Geyser Basin to take in some of the sights.  I must say that this area was absolutely stunning in the winter time, as the thermal grounds combined with the cold air made for some fascinating atmosphere.

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Again, it was amazing weather … which made for stunning images and an enhanced experience for the observer.

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We were treated to an awesome, though fairly distant, sighting of a red fox.  At first we thought it was a coyote, but I was pleasantly surprised.  We photographed it as it hunted on the open expanse of snow.  OK, I do believe that I might have squealed with delight with its antics … sit …leap straight up … dive head first … whip the hind legs over its head … land its hind legs … and pull out its head from the snow, hopefully with a tasty morsel.  A bit different than your typical coyote mousing scenario and probably more entertaining.

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Courtesy of Daniel J. Cox

Courtesy of Daniel J. Cox

Snow and ice covered bison were also seen, as they traveled the bare landscape in search of food.

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Finally we arrived to the Yellowstone iconic location … Old Faithful Geyser Basin … home to Old Faithful.  Now I’ve been here numerous times before, including once in the winter, but I have never seen it so peaceful and believe it or not, uncrowded.  It was such a pleasure to observe the eruption, not just once, but twice.  Since we got to see it twice, we did the traditional viewing (nearest the lodge) and then from the vantage point of the opposite side of the geyser.  Both offered different views, though both were remarkable.

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The winds were really still, which was wonderful because often it’s not so still and the steam from the geyser hitting the cold air then drifts in the wind and makes viewing difficult.

Of course, hiking around in the basin was also a must-do and it was quite fulfilling as well. The landscape was crisp and refreshing and the bison were out in force, dotting the snowy landscape, as they sought the thermal grounds for warmth.

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On our way home from Old Faithful, we ran into another red fox.  This one was a bit closer, but nowhere near as active.  Gosh, they couldn’t have been cuter.  It made me wonder … “what DOES the fox say?”  LOL

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A day in Yellowstone wouldn’t feel complete without a bald eagle sighting…. and this one was sure a beauty.

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Ultimately our 3rd day was coming to an end.  Thankfully we stopped for a sunset shot, which I took advantage of.  See, sunsets are always a nemesis for me.  I really liked how this one turned out though.

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A perfect end to our day!  Only one day left … and I didn’t want it to arrive.

Courtesy of Daniel J. Cox

Courtesy of Daniel J. Cox

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4 thoughts on “Third Time’s A Charm – Yellowstone NP

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