Shotgun Photos: A Smattering of Experiences

The paucity of recent posts has caused me much chagrin, but circumstances and events in Yellowstone have prevented me from making any contributions to my blog lately.  The occurrences of late have been unremitting and much so that I don't even know where to begin.  So, instead of extended use of words, I will let the photos from the past two weeks speak mostly for themselves.

**DISCLAIMER:  Several photos contained in this post may not be suitable for the eyes of children or those who are ultra-sensitive to scenes of dead things.  Parental and personal discretion is advised to prevent possible nightmares or mental scarring.**

On the trail of the wolf...

The fish dropped by a Bald Eagle directly in front of Megan as she zipped by on her snowmobile.

Places the wolves take you...

Goose killsite

"Perty cold out dis marnin..."

Killed by wolves #1: The death of a calf...

My good friend Jon committing himself to good data collection...

Coyote: killed by wolf or other coyote?  Necropsy results suggest coyote.

Believe it or not: The tracks of a golden eagle attempting to fly away but unable.  Why?  Too much food in the belly!  We watched him try to fly away from us, but was so gorged, he landed in the river, swam across, crawled up the bank on the otherside, and stood on a log to dry out.

A very content Jon after tracking wolves on snowshoes...

Black eyes and nose on a fur of white; hidden in the snow, you are quite a sight!
An ermine curiously peeks from his snowy tunnel system.

Killed by wolves #2: the death of a cow elk...

Who am I?

Can you see me?

Killed by wolves #3: one less calf elk

Killed by wolves #4: one less cow elk

A run-in with wolves. A mortal wound?

Scarring from a tree branch?  or wolves?

My dear friend Madeline listening intently for the 'beep beep beep' of nearby wolves.

Old Faithful Geyser...During Madeline's visit, my first time seeing the eruption since the beginning of the season...


  1. Good pictures and obviously only a smattering of your experiences in the past weeks. As the moon waxes, I wonder if pack activity will pick up. Just a thought.... one of many that your blog stimulates.

  2. Although your photos are intense, it is nature at work and winter a time of survival. Humans attach so many emotions to situations. Don't get me wrong. I am sure there were many emotions going through those elk and the coyote before they were taken down, but who are we to decide who lives and who dies. I am afraid that humans are the ones who initiated this situation. I remember all too well the people who were in the park in the late 80's (when we were there) asking people to sign petitions to reintroduce wolves to the park. I love wolves, but they are most definitely at the top of the food chain and perhaps we did not need to interefere with the swing of the pendelum. The coyotes were howling here last night. I wonder what they took down? Be strong, be safe, be a scientest and the naturalist that you are.

  3. Your pictures and comments have caused many an emotion to swell in my soul. These are great!

  4. Fascinating, beautiful photography, Jesse. Thoughtful and thought-provoking documentation--is this part of your assignment too? I was one of the enthusiastic petition signers for reintroduction. My second thoughts now center around wolf-human conflict, translocated wolves and their progeny stuck in the middle, just trying to do what wolves have to do, within human-imposed limits. Hard science based on unbiased data and a trained biologist's astute and factual, neutral observations--you're doing such a tough job admirably well. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. The multiple wolf track photo is the best multiple wolf track photo I have ever seen.


  6. Love the ice coated trees Jesse. It is fascinating how they clean those carcasses right out. The most fascinating though is the fat golden eagle. That blows me away!

  7. Love the Ermine and Bobcat photos! Very cool that you got to watch the Golden Eagle.


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