Spotting bears


Earlier, I had posted about my visit to the Yellowstone National Park. What I did not emphasize enough on was the sighting of wildlife. Bison, mule deer, wolf, coyote, black bear and grizzly bear. Spotting of a mama grizzly bear playing with her two cubs was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We spotted her on the last day of our stay in Yellowstone. A line of people had gathered by the side of the road with their cameras and binoculars to capture the rare sight. The traffic stalled for a good 30 minutes, until the bear family ventured deep into the woods, hidden by a cluster of trees. Later that day, after a long session of aww-ing at the adorable pictures that we took, I learnt that the hunting of grizzly bears as trophy animals has been legalized in Wyoming. This decision comes after a gap of four decades. The bar had been put earlier in view of the animal being endangered, and now that the numbers have grown by almost three times, the State has made hunting (only a restricted number) legal again. While the memory of the two bear cubs would stay immortal in our mind, we only hope their mortality is not in jeopardy.

My article about the spotting of these wonderful creatures in Yellowstone was published in a National Newspaper back in India. You can read it here.

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Pic credit: Sriram Sridharan

 

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Of hot springs and cold mountains


At Yellowstone National Park


After a four-day trip to Yellowstone National Park, we are back with a stack of pictures, a tonne of memories and some exhaustion. Part of a 10-member group, we stayed at a mansion that overlooked misty mountains and rows of pine trees. We began our days driving for hours from Big Sky Resort in Montana to Yellowstone National Park; and ended them sitting submerged neck down in a hot tub under a full-moon sky. At the Park, we drove by a herd of bisons, and a sleuth of mama bear and her two cubs. The geysers enveloped us with steam, and the clouds cracked open to let powdery rain coat our jackets and hair. On one side, the Yellowstone Lake spread like a polished sheet of glass, on the other, the Old Faithful rose like a fountain on steroids. We walked by a field of fallen trees, and reached the Bunsen Peak, only to feel insignificantly small among the massive mountains. So one day, we drove to the top of one of them. Capped with snow and riddled with naked trees, with every mile up, the colors drained to finally present a black and white view. It was time to say goodbye. And we did, soaking in the red, yellow and white strokes of the canyons. A beautiful canvas created by years of erosion; a canvas that is, and would always be, a work in progress. Except for in our minds, where it would gain permanence. Until the next visit.

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Bluebell pool at Yellowstone National Park