Up before daylight and heading to Yellowstone after a long day of travel, we were all a little bleary-eyed, but soon we sprang to life!!! The first bison of the day was sighted shortly after Roosevelt’s welcome to the park (the famed arch at Yellowstone’s north entrance). The herd was closer and larger than we could have imagined, we could even hear them chewing (safely, from the car)! This was a great start to accomplishing our goal of an octo-ungulate day. As we continued our journey, we were able to rack up six more hooved-mammals (elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, and moose) leaving us missing the ever-elusive white-tailed deer.
While viewing the moose, much to our surprise and delight, a subnivean creature popped into view. Mayhem ensued as we scrambled to see the even more elusive ermine. It was hopping over and traversing through the snow drifts at lightning speed, finally crossing the road in front of us. Excitement continued as we tried to capture the perfect picture to share. This was a favorite of the 19 species we spotted today for many people in the group.
We wrapped up our day with a snowshoe hike to a lovely view of the Yellowstone River. This was a challenging first for many of us in the group and we are proud to say, we all made it to the top and back down. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds for us.
Dustin, Julie, and Tonya