You never know that you’re going to find when in Yellowstone National Park during the springtime. Fresh off my dusky grouse encounter from the day before, we had another encounter, which was a first for me … a beaver. Normally I get images of a beaver swimming around in the water. Usually it’s at dusk, so the light is not great. When they’re swimming around, it’s usually just the face. Not this day. Sure, it was making its way through the water, but then something magical happened. It swan to and climbed upon the shore.It even turned around for us and posed in front of some beautiful yellow wildflowers. It began to groom itself … dipping its front feet into the pond and then pouring it over its head and then seemingly wringing its head and face.Then it began scratching on its belly. It clearly developed an itch at some point as it began to scratch itself in the front with its right paw and simultaneously on its back with its left paw. As I was photographing it, I couldn’t help but want to reach out and give it an assist. LOLEven got the back feet involved in the scratching.This beaver sure wanted the attention of all of the cameras focused on him/her. After some time of photographing, we decided that we had enough and moved on to other subjects.Every time I spot a rainbow, I know that it’s a special sighting… and this one was a truly spectacular one. I just loved the way that it was so brightly illuminated all of the way to the ground. Just makes you want to venture over to look for the “pot of gold”.Winding down on our last day before leaving the Yellowstone area, we had to of course take one last trip through Lamar Valley. At some point, I noticed this enormous bird swoop by. Stop the car! I got out and ventured towards I saw it flying, not being sure of what it was. I walked down the embankment a bit and decided to sit down and calmly check things out. As I scanned the landscape, I initially saw nothing … then there it was … a gorgeous golden eagle.I couldn’t believe it when it spotted me and just continued on having its lunch of some type of ground critter. It tugged at the unfortunate prey and pulled it apart.A magpie came in and tried to be an uninvited dinner guest, but the golden would have nothing to do with that. It stood up tall, spread it wings (with its 6-8 foot wingspan) and chased down the magpie, who quickly “peaced out”.After most of its lunch was consumed, it quickly launched itself into the air, which in itself was impressive to witness.Eventually it flew onto the hillside on the other side. Gosh, it was one of the most beautiful birds that I had ever seen. Reminded me a bit of an immature back eagle, but with its size, there was no mistaking it!At the end of our day … and our Yellowstone trip, there it was. That gorgeous rainbow re-appeared, but this time I could compose it such that you couldn’t mistake where we were when it graced us.As we drove through the town of Gardiner, MT, it provided us one last special treat. In fact, if you look closely it was a double rainbow. A perfect ending to a perfect trip. Good sightings, varied wildlife, lots of firsts (including my first tick … don’t ask, it could be a blog in itself … yikes!), and the company of great friends and laughable moments that are still fresh in my mind. Life is good!
Hope that everyone enjoyed our images, stories, and memories from springtime in Yellowstone NP. I know that we’ll be repeating this one again soon.
Next Up: Let’s head up to the Palouse
© 2016 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography