Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yellowstone Reflections

Yellowstone National Park - sky, land, water. life.
I've decided to try something different in the next few days - share wildlife photos from Yellowstone National Park. The Dipper Ranch blog is primarily about natural history in the Santa Cruz Mountains located on the central coast of California, especially sightings and seasonal changes on the Dipper Ranch, my home. Over time, I've added my reflections on living and working as a park biologist in these natural areas.

This summer, I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park where I was saw an extraordinary amount of wildlife - amazingly, we saw wolves four times. Under the guidance of a wildlife biologist friend, I learned about animal interactions in the Yellowstone environment. I've read about Yellowstone ecology and wolf reintroduction since then, but I've got a lot more to learn.

Over the next few days, I am going to share some of my photographs and observations from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - "one of the largest intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth today" according to the National Park Service. I know that visiting Yellowstone has influenced how I interpret the landscape and the behavior of wildlife on the Dipper Ranch, especially regarding predators.

By sharing these Yellowstone observations, I hope to start conversations about the functions and health  of our local ecosystems. I look forward to your comments about how Yellowstone might teach us about our local natural areas, no matter how small in size or diversity.

Tonight I will start with the first post - a wolf feeding on a carcass along the Gibbon River. Over the next 10 days, I hope to share observations of other wolves, coyotes, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and scenic vistas of this rich and sometimes controversial ecosystem.

This is part of a series of posts on wildlife observed in Yellowstone National Park in September 2012. To see more posts, select "Yellowstone" in the Sightings box in the right column.

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