Happy Christmas and Merry New Year! I hope that everyone had as good of a Christmas as I! Fortunately, I was able to whip home for two days, leaving Megan alone with the wolves (she got two days off after I returned). Our family (Luke included) enjoyed a wonderful dinner with the entire Youderian clan on the eve of Christmas, a very slow and agreeable Christmas morning opening presents, and a delicious Christmas dinner inclusive of the annual Risk competition (which resulted in a Madeline and Jesse victory! Woohoo!) at the Magnuson’s. It was probably the best Christmas yet…and I know at least one other in my family agrees. And I didn’t even miss any exciting wolf activity back in Yellowstone.
My return to Yellowstone was heralded by -20 degree morning temperatures, delaying the normal departure time to check wolf signals. Each morning, I disappear into six layers of clothing including the “green monster” suit (a refrigerator suit that swallows you whole). Dressed in such a manner, I can hardly feel the freezing wind as I zip around on my snowmobile. As morning passes to afternoon, the temperature reaches the teens, which feels like a heat wave.
Madison Junction seems to be a popular wolf hangout. Over the past month and a half, we have found three wolf kills right out our backdoor (figuratively speaking). And another may be found soon. Just today we found wolf tracks with drops of blood here and there. After following them around for a while, another track was found, which did not appear to be wolf. This track paralleled a wolf track and had a light spray of blood all along its trail. Tomorrow we will follow the tracks more diligently, for we did not want to push the wolves off their meal by hiking in on them today. Will this be the subject of the next blog post?? Stay tuned to find out!