Photo Friday: Partners / High Country Wolves

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Partners - Wolves at Yellowstone

Photo Friday Challenge: Partners

The High Country wolf pack at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, represent this week’s theme of “Partners” for me. I visited this pack in 2011, and again in 2013. This photo was taken in the summer of 2011, and shows the pack greeting each other after dinner, reaffirming their pack connection and status. As a pack, as partners, they work together for survival, whether in the wild or at special reserves.

The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is focused on conservation of grizzly bears and wolves, and especially education. The best times to visit the center are in the early morning when it opens or in the evening, as the bears and wolves are most active around these times, which are also meal times. It’s open year round, and the bears don’t hibernate. Children can participate in Keeper Kids, which is an opportunity to hide fruit around the bear exhibits (while the bears are safely locked away). This helps to enrich the bears’ feeding experience by providing a variety of fruits to supplement their diet, and hiding them means that the bears have to work for their treats. A visit to the center is inexpensive, and a great stop to add onto your Yellowstone National Park vacation.

The pack has since split into two packs, which is a natural evolution of the pack dynamics and often happens in the wild, but these two packs bring the total number of packs at the Center to three. Watching the dynamics of the pack is interesting and enlightening, and a great way to see Yellowstone wolves. I have never had the opportunity to see them in the wild in Yellowstone, but I can get pretty close at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.

What do you think of the partnership among wolves? How close have you been to wolves? Let me know in the comments!

Y is for Yellowstone

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Today is the second to the last day of the A to Z Challenge! So for today, Y is for Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is located in the state of Wyoming in the US. It was established in 1872 and is the first US National Park. It’s famous for wildlife and geothermal features, as it sits on a hot spot with lots of volcanic activity. It’s also a supervolcano that has erupted at least 3 times in the past 2.1 million years!

Old Faithful at Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park – photo by kei

The volcanic activity underground creates many hydrothermal features, such as the world famous Old Faithful Geyser. There are also fumaroles with dry steam, bubbling mud pots, and bright blue hot springs. There are several geyser basins throughout the park, and since the entire park is on a volcano you are never far from a geothermal feature. This means that you should be careful when walking through geothermal areas, stay on marked paths, and never try to touch the hot springs. Continue reading