Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bison and elks and bears, oh my!

Hello bear, my aren't you big?

Hello from Yellowstone National Park where I have just narrowly avoided been mauled, eaten and probably having my wallet nicked by a bear. Well okay, it was the other side of the river from our car, hanging out behind some trees. I confess we wouldn't have noticed except we had to slow right down for the ten people (it is low season) with telescopic lenses blocking the road. I think it was a black bear, but I only caught a view of its side so I wouldn't like to bet it wasn't a grizzly (both types roam Yellowstone). Hopefully we can examine the remains of said photographers tomorrow to determine the source of the attack.

Apart from bears, I have seen elk, deer, ospreys and herds upon herds of bison with babies in tow. Oddly, baby bison look more like cows than their heavy faced parents. They also, old and young, don't give a hoot about cars. While we have frequently seen them on the roads, today we were caught in a mist of a bison migration where maybe 50 bison were moving from one section of the park to another. Well, I guess the road was the easiest route. However, while at a standstill surrounded by my bovine friends, I started to wonder... do bison have a sense of humour? The unmistakable fact was that the animals moved to block both sides of the road. If one side of the road became clear enough to allow cars through, a bison would step out of the line of its fellows to stand, casually, in the centre of that lane. Sports car, SUV or RV alike, nothing was too big or shiny to be stared down by a bison.

However, after a slow day travelling behind them I got my revenge. Bison... delightful served beside mashed potato.

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