Saturday, February 22, 2014

What have we been up to?

It has been a long time since posting to the blog, and I will admit it is a bit of an excuse, but we have been really busy. I know that we make some beautiful photographs, but, we are fiscally conservative enough that we are not going to leave our engineering jobs at this time to pursue photography full time. 

Along those lines, we have been busy though. 2013 saw us ending our 3 year project of landscaping our property. We have set up some very nice natural areas within our yard, including a small pond, and several automatic filling water features, as well as some nice perches and boulders. We will be bringing you a series in the near future about the birds in our backyard. 

 Say's Phoebe perched on a Staghorn Cholla

My professional career has seen me traveling to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand in the last year. I spent almost 2 months in Asia in 2013, so if I can, I take my camera with me and try to get out and see some of these areas. 

We use a company called Smugmug to actually host our photography website, but we host our blog on Google's Blogger system. Unfortunately or fortunately, however you may look at it, Smugmug unveiled a new design method for developing our website. We loved the new look of the system and how it is easier to work with, but unfortunately, trying to get the blog to match with the website was more of a headache and continues to be a work in progress. This is the first blog post on the newly unveiled blog, so we would love your feedback. To return to the home page for the website, simply click on the Western Skies Photography logo at the top of the page to return to the main site. 

We continued to offer photography classes at Usery Mountain Park. Dori is now offering a class on wildflower photography in the spring. (Hint, it is coming up on 1 March 2013 at the park.) I am still hosting the desert photography walk a couple of times, plus we now have a beginner, intermediate, and a more intermediate photography (I really do not feel qualified to call it advanced).  

Saguaro Cactus Blooms

I also decided that I wanted to become Marlin Perkin's (you youngsters who do not know who he is should look him up, and you older folks know what I am talking about) replacement. Wild Kingdom announced a contest to search for their next web host. This was a great experience in learning about videography and video editing. Much more trying than straight photography, because you have to worry about sights and sounds and actually telling an interesting story. Needless to say, I am not the next host, but the young lady that was chosen, Stephanie Arne has done a great job. Check her videos out at . Here is my video, I am still proud of it, but it took six weeks to produce this 2 minute video. 

Steven's Wild Guide Entry
On the photography front, we were not that active. We had a trip to Mesa Verde, documenting the Anasazi cliff dwellings. We were fortunate to also see some wild horses in the area. We also spent time on Mt. Evans in Colorado looking for mountain goats and pikas. Near the end of the year, our big adventure was a trip to Thailand. I had to go on business, but Dori was able to come along. She toured Bangkok and saw many of the sights, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Red Cross Snake Palace, and the sleeping Buddha. We hired Tontan Travel to arrange a private guided tour of Khao Yai National Park, where the highlights included seeing a Binturong and the top of the trip, a wild Asiatic Elephant Cow and month old calf. 

Longhouse Ruins in Mesa Verde, NP

Binturong in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Temple of the Emerald Buddha,  Bangkok, Thailand

So in closing, we hope you continue to check out our website and blog. Here are a few of the things we intend to talk about in the coming weeks. Khao Yai, a wolf hunt, Great Horned Owls, Mesa Verde, Mount Evans, Pika, Curve Billed Thrashers, Cactus Wrens, Gambel's Quail, and more, including some discussions about photography equipment, techniques, and digital darkroom items. 

 Asiatic Elephant and calf, Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

So get out there and shoot. 

I hope to see YOU, under the Western Skies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Saguaro Cactus

One of the most iconic plants to Arizona is the saguaro cactus (pronounced suh-wah-ro). In fact, its bloom is the state flower. These giant cacti have always fascinated me. They are only found in the Sonoran Desert, which is in Arizona and parts of Mexico. Farther south, there are also giant cacti, one variety is known as a cordon. They look similar to saguaros.

A stately saguaro. Notice the blooms on the top, also notice the ironwood tree in bloom behind it.

Their blooms are white with a yellow interior, and provide food for bats and birds. If you are fortunate to find an arm that is lower and you can look at the blossom, take a moment and smell it. The blossom smells like fresh honeydew melons.

A single bloom, with white petals and yellow stamen.

Group of blossoms and emerging buds on an arm.

Saguaro fruit is red and provides food to animals and humans alike.

I was so happy when we got a home with some land and an established saguaro on the property. I am excited every year to see our big saguaro bloom. Ours is a late bloomer (blooms in mid May rather than late April when the blossoms start to set) and attracts birds for an entire month. First, for the nectar from the blooms and later for the yummy (so I am told) ripe red fruit. Right now, in the middle of May, saguaro blooming season is in full swing. The birds have already noticed, and the white winged doves are in town ready for the fruit which will ripen in July. Saguaros are mostly pollinated by bats, so Steven and I enjoy seeing the bats flying around at dusk as well.

Various holes in the side of the Saguaro. Is it a home to the woodpecker at the top?

Saguaros not only provide food for animals; they also provide homes. Some birds will build nests in the “Y” where an arm grows, such as Red Tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls. Others will live in the "boots" of saguaros, such as the Gila Woodpecker or the Cactus Wren. The boot forms when birds peck at the flesh of a saguaro and damage the skin. The saguaro scars over to heal itself. As the saguaro grows, so does the scar (normally this results in a hole that goes up). This is perfect for birds to nest in as the upward growth instead of downward growth keeps the boot from flooding during spring rains.

This arm is drooping and may have been caused by a freeze cycle.

It can take a saguaro sixty to one hundred years before it starts to grow its first arm. Some saguaros never get arms. The arm starts off as a small bud the size of a large marble, and in a year, if the water is sufficient, the bud will be the size of a baseball. If there is excessive drought, the new arm will shrivel up and fall off. You will sometimes see a saguaro with arms that have turned downward. Some scientists speculate that this is caused by freezing damage. Some of the cells will rupture during a hard freeze and will no longer be able to support the weight of the arm, so the arm twists and lowers.

An arm at least a few years old growing on the side of the cactus.

A newer arm and an older arm.

Saguaros are protected plants in Arizona. Relocated saguaros must have tags on them to be transported and sold. For being so big, they are very delicate. Many larger saguaros do not survive when transplanted. They can live for years on their moisture reserves before they succumb.

New buds, blossoms, and fruit forming. Notice how the spines have a yellowish red hue.

There are just so many interesting things about saguaros that I only touched upon a few. For a fact sheet on Saguaros, check out the National Park Service Saguaro Fact Sheet.

I hope to see YOU, under the Western Skies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bighorn Sheep

With Dori and I moving into the new house and setting up our outdoor studios, one of the things we have been trying to determine is what to do with an existing pathway in front of our house, that we are sure the builder wanted to use to place a fountain in. With our goal of attracting native wildlife and trying to emulate the feel of the Desert Botanical Gardens, we did not feel that a general fountain would blend that well, so we thought maybe a statue that could tie in with our wildlife photography.

The problem is choosing the right animal to represent our work. I really enjoy grizzly bears and bison, but they really did not "blend" into an Arizona Desert that well, so we thought a life size Bighorn Sheep would be great, as we do not live very far from them, and as a matter of anecdote, bighorns have been seen about 3 miles north of our house at Usery Park recently. So with those thoughts in mind, I had been spending more time trying to photograph bighorns, and am still waiting for the classic shot of the Rams butting heads.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram, Yellowstone NP

Another item that intrigued me, and has actually lead me to start these natural history blogs, was a Facebook posting that was sent to me last year about Bighorn Sheep being in the Wildcat Hills of Nebraska. This was where I grew up, and Nebraska Game and Fish has reintroduced bighorns into this range of hills in the western Nebraska panhandle, as well as the Pine Ridge region in northern Nebraska. I periodically return to the Scottsbluff region and in March I was heading there, so I started researching the reasons for the reintroductions. What I found was that up until the turn of the 20th century, there was a subspecies of bighorn, called the Audubon Bighorn, that lived in the Dakotas and western Nebraska. So I decided that I would start with Bighorn Sheep in general as the subject of my first Natural History Blog.

Generally, there are three types of Bighorn Sheep in the world, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn and subspecies, the Dall Sheep and subspecies, and the Siberian Snow Sheep found in Russia. The Rocky Mountain Bighorn's taxonomic name is Ovis canadensis, where the Dall is Ovis dalli, and the Siberian is Ovis nivicola.

Until recently, it was thought that there were seven subspecies of Rocky Mountain Bighorn: Rocky Mountain Bighorn (Ovis c. canadensis); California (Ovis c. californiana); Nelson's (Ovis c. nelsoni); Mexican (Ovis c. mexicana); Peninsular (Ovis c. cremnobates); Weem's (Ovis c. weemsi); and Audubon's (Ovis c. auduboni) (thought to be extinct). However, in 1993 several scientists started evaluating the species and now believe that there is only three distinct sub-species; the Rocky Mountain; Sierra Nevada (Ovis c. sierrae); and Desert (Ovis c. nelsoni), with the Sierra Nevada sub-species considered endangered.

I was most interested in the discussion on the Audubon's, as on my trip to Nebraska, I was fortunate to see a couple of the rams that had been reintroduced. Although, I was able to snap a picture, they were too far away for any good shots. When I returned home, I was able to do some research, and currently taxonomists believe that the Audubon's were actually Rockies that had moved down the river drainages from the Rockies and established themselves in the Dakotas, but were unlikely to be significantly different in genetics.

Bighorn sheep tend to be about 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder. The Rocky Mountain males weigh about 200 pounds and are about 5 1/2 feet long. Females are smaller, but from a distance typically appear about the same size, although they typically weigh about 150 pounds. Both males and females have horns, but the females horns are smaller, while the males contribute to the name Bighorn. They have horns and not antlers, as they never lose them, and they actually continue to grow their entire life. Males can be aged by looking at the horns. Each year during the rut, the males tend to quit eating as much and the growth in their horns slows down. During this time, the horns will develop a dark ring , and these can be counted. Typically, you cannot start counting until the 3rd or 4th year. By the 5th or 6th year, the horn has curled around to being below the eye, and is known as a three quarter curl.

Desert Ewe, Canyon Lake, Tonto National Forest
Rocky Mountain sheep typically enter the rut, or breeding season, in November and December. During this time, dominant males will compete for females and the right to mate, and this is when we have the classic views of two rams butting heads (still looking for that shot). After the mating season, the herds break up with the males forming bachelor groups. The females remain together along with the juveniles, including younger none mating males. The females typically have their young in late May to early June and give birth to one or two lambs. The births are timed to match up with the emergence of the spring growth, and provides the best opportunity for the mothers to successfully raise their young. Females typically enter breeding age around two years of age, while the rams are likely capable of breeding at 6 months, but typically do not start until 3 years old, primarily due to the dominance by the older rams.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn lamb, Yellowstone NP

The desert subspecies is similar in all respects, but are a little smaller than their northern cousins. The desert sheep have evolved and changed their rut to occur at a different time of year. Their rut tends to occur in the middle of the summer, from late June to August. This allows the ewes to lamb in December, which tends to correspond with the winter rainy season in the deserts and when there is the most new growth. Their herding characteristics are the same as the Rocky Mountain sheep of the north.

Bighorn sheep typically eat grasses, but may eat woodier plants. In the desert regions they will feed on Jojoba and various cactus. The bighorns typically reside in areas that are fairly rugged vertically. They will forage in the flats at the base of the hills, so if they spy a predator they can quickly run up the hill and cliff to escape. Their hooves provide the ability of climbing so well. They are concave and elastic, much as a rock climbers shoes, to grip the rocks as they race up the hill.

Their primary cause of death is falling. Even though they are confident in running up a cliff, they will often fall to their death. In the wild, the sheep will live to 7 or 8 years old, with the occasional 15 year old. Mountain lions are their primary predator as adults, but coyotes, bears, and golden eagles have been known to attack lambs.

There are numerous places you can see Bighorn Sheep across the western United States. I have seen Rocky Mountain Bighorns in Glacier National Park (NP), Yellowstone NP, Rocky Mountain NP, on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, CO, Glenwood Springs, CO, as well as the Wildcat Hills in Nebraska. As for Desert Bighorn Sheep, I have seen them at Canyon Lake near Phoenix, AZ, Grand Canyon, NP and Zion NP.

Some other areas to look for sheep are Badlands, NP in South Dakota, the Pine Ridge in Nebraska, Arches, NP in Utah, and Boulder City, NV. I wish you luck in finding some sheep to watch, and if you have any questions drop me a line.

Check back next week for Dori's discussion on Saguaro Cactus.

I hope to see YOU, under the Western Skies.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Roadrunners, Burrowing Owls, Jack Rabbits and a Snake

Well it has been awhile, AGAIN. The last couple of years have been busy with travel for the full time job but we are going to make a concerted effort to get this blog going again.

First, I have been looking for a set of really good field guides. I have the entire set of Audubon guides for our Android devices as well as iBird and the Princeton Field Guide to North American Mammals by Kayes and Wilson (ebook). Having them electronically is great, now when I am in the field, I can carry the equivalent of 7 or 8 field guides on my tablet. None have exactly what we are looking for, but we are not entirely sure what we are looking for. As one Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it." I think that with the rise of the machines, we could create a more in depth interactive field guide, one that is written in layman's terms. So what we are going to do is start using our blog to put together a general natural history lesson each week. So look forward to next week's blog on Bighorn Sheep.

I have been spending some time at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) and seeing lots of Greater Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus). Two weeks ago I was working on a lecture while sitting at the garden and finally saw the classic image of a roadrunner with a lizard in its mouth, and I was without a real camera. I followed the roadrunner for a while and found it with some juveniles. I spent the past two weeks going to the garden for lunch and sitting and calling in roadrunners, using iBird. Here are some of the results, but it took almost two weeks for me to get these. Roadrunners tend to be a bit jumpy, so I was happy to get the pictures of these two, filling the frame at a distance of less than 5 feet. I will continue to try and get the image with the Roadrunner and the lizard over the next couple of weeks, before it becomes too hot in Phoenix for the summer. 

This, is believed to be a juvenile. He was smaller than the other bird seen that day
Notice the flash of blue and the streak of orange around the eye
I believe this was the mother of the young ones I have been seeing
On one of my last visits to the garden, I was fortunate enough to have seen a 4 to 5 foot albino gopher snake. I have not had time to speak with the staff at DBG, but with as large of a snake as it is, and being albino, I believe someone dropped it off at the gardens because they could not care for it at home. It was fairly habituated to humans, as some of the pictures were at the minimum focusing distance of the 100-400L by Canon. 
Based on quick looks on the internet, we believe it is an albino, but it could be leucistic (missing a single pigment)
It would be unnatural to grow to 5' in length in the wild, plus as calm as it was around myself and the others watching, we think someone may have abandoned it at the gardens
While perusing the forums at I saw a posting of someone looking for antelope jackrabbits in Arizona. From a post on the site, he was directed to Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ as a place to find them. To date, I have only been able to find Blacktail Jackrabbits, and not the antelopes. We will do a discussion on jackrabbits in a future blog. This weekend while I was there, I was also treated to another roadrunner. I really cannot believe my luck with this bird this year. 
I am drawn to the gauntness of the face in the jackrabbit
The back legs are the powerful locomotion for the Blacktail Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), notice how slender the front legs are
Notice the general dynamics of the jackrabbit at a lope
Finding some shade on a warm day
Another roadrunner found, this one at Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ

Finally, in an email from our friends at Wild Birds Unlimited in Mesa, AZ, we found out about the upcoming release of some burrowing owls at Zanjero Park in Gilbert Arizona. Desert Rivers Audubon, in cooperation with the Wild at Heart Raptor and Owl rehabilitation group released 10 burrowing owls at the park (5 males and 5 females). These birds were "rescued" from the west side of Phoenix where a new development was going in. Wild at Heart captured them and with the help of Desert Rivers established a burrowing owl area in the east valley to save them. The pictures you see here, are of one of the males, they are expecting him to fly on in search of greener pastures, based on his attitude while in the enclosure.
The volunteers getting ready to go
Here is the fenced tent enclosure, notice the freeway behind it
Volunteers unearth the corners of the temporary enclosure
This corner needed extra work, one of the owls attempted to escape during the habituation process, and it needed to be secured with rocks
Receiving the briefing on the removal of the tent fabric for the release
The first burrowing owl (Athene Cunicularia) leaving the temporary enclosure
The Desert Rivers Audubon volunteer coordinator told me they felt this guy would probably leave the area, the others appear to have nested and even mated at the park
On the move, I was surprised that he ran as well as he did

Well, we hope you have enjoyed the pictures, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

We hope to see YOU, under the Western Skies.
Beep, Beep! Bye Bye!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Well, I just wanted to apologize for not keeping the blog up to date. It is not that I haven't been out shooting wildlife and landscapes, but I have been very busy with many other topics. Unfortunately, I cannot yet support myself with the wildlife photography, and the job that pays the bills has often gotten in the way, especially since my last post.

Since that post, I have traveled to Malaysia (3 times, plus day trips into Singapore), several trips to Colorado Springs and various outings up to Western Nebraska, one trip to San Jose, quite a bit of time in Pocatello, a week in Manila, a week in Ontario, and a week in Japan. Probably the best of these paying trips was the 5 weeks I spent in Pocatello, allowed me to travel on weekends up to Yellowstone.

For personal trips, Dori and I spent a week in the Virginia area in June, and two weeks in Yellowstone in July and September.

On the home front we have been very busy. We decided that we needed a bigger home, and a bigger lot, with the goal of developing some outdoor habitats and areas that we could photograph the fauna of Arizona in our own "studio". With all of the travel for work, and all of the flux of moving into a new home, that had it's issues, it has been tough to get out more pictures. We are still working on developing the outdoor studio, but we are getting some time to work on our photos and get some more stuff out there.

In October, I received exciting news that two of my photos had been chosen as finalists for the 2011 Cowboys and Indians Photography Contest. We still have not been notified, but I am confident that at least one of them will be published.

As for shooting opportunities, I finally made it to Mt. Evans outside of Denver, CO and was able to get some really great shots of Mountain Goats and will hopefully post some in the near future.

Dori and I had an opportunity to go on an Arizona Game and Fish program to observe Desert Bighorn Sheep at Canyon Lake in the Tonto National Forest.

Dori and I have also found a new area that we are really enjoying, Usery Mountain Regional Park, which is very close to our house. They offer some great programs and some really nice Sonoran Desert settings for us to get some photos.

In Yellowstone, I had some great stories come about, that I will hopefully post at a later time, but the most fun was seeing what I have come to call the Dunraven Sow with her two twins. I felt bad for the rangers, because she spent so much time close to the road near Dunraven all summer. I saw her and the twins probably 10 to 12 times this years.

Well for now this will need to suffice for a quick update. Keep an eye out on the blog, and we will begin to pose more of our adventures soon.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Well this is our last day in the park (although we will leave out the east gate early on the 3rd). We decided that we would head into the Hayden for a quick look and then over Washburn for bears.

The valley was pretty quiet, but there were a few elk in the southern end of the valley that were crossing to the east side of the Yellowstone, so we headed up to Washburn.

On the flanks of Washburn at a small turnout between the larger turn out with the big rock everyone climbs on and the Chittenden Road turn out we came upon a small jam. It was Scarface again and this time he was upslope from the main road. We set up the camera, but he dipped down into a draw below our line of site, but we thought he would come back out. Up on Chittenden Road though, they were able to have a good view, but we were a lot closer than they were. We discussed moving up to the other road, but knowing our luck he would cross where we were, so we decided that patience would be better, and it was.

He was casually browsing, but then he decided he wanted to be someplace different and moved, rapidly. He headed to the end of the line of parked cars and crossed the road and headed downslope. There was a bit of consternation, as a small crowd had gathered and several started running to get a better shot, but we were all within 100yds of him. I had the big lens on and wasn’t going to move, and just stayed positioned in front of our trunk. Tiffany got in the truck and in retrospect, she was the smartest of the bunch. I figured that I had missed out on some good shots, because I wasn’t going to approach him, but then my good deeds and rules following finally paid off. He decided to head for the patch of meadow immediately in front of me. He was close enough I had to pull the tele extender off the lens, and I was able to get some full face shots. He is not as photogenic as I would have liked, and this is only an OK shot, but I have some better shots in the galleries where he actually graced us with a look. My guess is that I was in the 15 to 20 yrd distance from him. There was a volunteer there that was counting bears in the Washburn area and he estimated that Scarface was 18 to 20 years old, and in these pictures weighed about 600lbs. After watching bears chase the elk calves these past three weeks, I would have been toast if he wanted me. Fortunately, he was pretty calm about the entire scene and most of the people were being very good.

We headed on back toward Dunraven where we saw a nice cinnamon black bear. Then on down into the Hayden again with designs of going to Fishing Bridge for breakfast. At the south end of the valley, Dori noticed two grizzlies hanging out on the east side of the river, so we watched them for a while.

After breakfast we headed to Mary’s Bay and Lake Butte Overlook. At the turn off for Lake Butter there was a resource ranger and they had been watching a male grizzly just to the north of the main road, but it had bedded down. We went on up the butte and on the way down stopped for some shots of the marmots.

We then headed back through the Hayden and over to Norris. Just past the golden gate we came on a huge bear jam. The was the usual it’s a grizzly bear comments from the vehicles approaching us, but it turned out as expected, a nice looking cinnamon bear.

We then headed toward Roosevelt hoping to come across the cubs again, but no joy, so we decided to have an early dinner at Roosevelt. From there we headed out to the Lamar in hopes of finding wolves.

Just coming up from the Lamar canyon area we came on another black bear, so we stopped and watched for a while. By this time it was getting later so we headed on toward the hitching post for a bathroom break. We noticed a lot of people up on the hill where many used to watch the Druids from, but we decided we needed the break and would check out the den site. There were a lot of people at the den site, but no real activity. When I told them of the people back on the hill, they apparently called on the radio and the dedicated watchers packed up and left, so of course we followed.

Apparently, there was a bison carcass out in the sage, that the wolves had been feeding on, but there was a grizzly on it. It was getting late and the distances were pretty great so we chose not to carry a camera and we relied on the scopes and binocs. This was a great experience as one of the gray druids came in and chased of the bear, the bear started for another grizzly while a third much larger grizzly headed down toward the kill. The thing that amazed me was how timid the bears were with the wolf, because they could have easily kept the wolf off the kill, but I think they were worried the rest of the pack would show up.

So the last day ended well, with us seeing 6 grizzly bears, 3 black bears, and 1 wolf, with lots of interesting stories to tell. It will take me several weeks to go through all of the pictures we took (over 7000) and decide which ones we want to make available to the public.

On a side note, I am trying to make money from my shots, so please forgive the quality of the shots in the trip reports, as these were selected to help tell the story and to encourage you to go to the galleries to check out the better shots.

Thanks for letting us share our thoughts and our trip with you and I hope it allowed you to see what we were doing and inspire you to come view our wonderful National Parks and Monuments.

I hope to see you under the Western Skies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We started our day about 5:30 again this morning with the intention of heading out into the Hayden. Unfortunately, as we started moving down into the valley it became apparent that the viewing would probably be fairly poor, because of the morning fog.

We did get held up in a bison jam, where we got some decent pictures of a red dog.

I decided we should head on up Washburn to look for bears and boy was I glad we did. We found a small bear jam near the big turn out before the Chittenden turn out. It was Scarface, he was out in a clearing just down slope from the road and he was fairly easy going in allowing people to shot him. Unfortunately, he appears to not like the sun, several of us were waiting for him to come out into full sunshine versus hanging out in the shadow of Washburn, but as soon as the clearing was almost in full sun, he headed for the trees.

By this time we needed to head back to Canyon for breakfast and to meet up with my brother and his wife, who were going to spend the rest of our trip with us. We headed back out for the rest of the day around 11:30. We decided to head over Washburn and on toward Roosevelt.

We didn’t see any grizzlies going over Dunraven, but at the head of the valley for Antelope Creek we came on a nice looking black bear, but the jam was pretty bad, the road pretty narrow, the bear was moving toward a narrower area, so we decided we would move on.

We decided that we would go try and find some of the cubs that have been near the turn off to Petrified Tree. When we arrived at the turn off, there seemed to be a lot of activity, so we headed up. We found the black sow with the single cub, and she was attempting to rest at the base of the tree, but the cub decided he needed some attention and was pestering mom. Again, it was fairly crowded so we moved on to bigger and better things, at least we hoped.

We headed out into the Lamar in hopes of finding wolves or bears, but all that happened was we were skunked. We then headed back toward Mammoth and out of the park for a late lunch.

Overall, the day wasn’t bad, but we really did not see that many of the bigger drawing attractions.

I hope to see you under the Western Skies.