So you think you can be a field biologist in Yellowstone do you?

You're trudging through white, wintery Yellowstone, following tracks of a wolf laid several days before.  The triangulation from those past few days suggest that the wolves may have made a kill, because they remained in the same area for a considerable amount of time; enough time to eat a large ungulate.  Finally, after four hours of hiking and dodging thermal pools, you begin to see good evidence of a kill...really good evidence...

Because you are an observant field biologist, you are very good at identifying the animals around the kill and evidence of the kill.  Or are you?  Get out your necropsy kit and identify the following:

1- Bone fragment, with some meat and blood remaining.  (Almond with red frosting)
2-Wolf "meat scat," a very liquidy scat left by wolves 12 hours after eating a large meal.  (Chocolate pudding)
3-"Normal" wolf scat. (Tootsie Roll fragment)
4-Pee spot... (Yellow frosting)
5-Adult bison (Bison bison), wolf-killed, only partially consumed.
6-Bison pie (Chocolate chip morsel)
7-Thermal pool (Blue jello)
8-Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)!
9-Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)- scavenger
10-Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)- scavenger

Megan, bless her little heart, made me this "killsite" cake for my birthday!  It was a wonderfully appropriate cake to celebrate my 24th birthday in Yellowstone!


  1. WOW. Hats off to Megan for her masterpiece. You must have been stunned! Was that standing dead timber still burning? Bet your BLM fire fighting skills came in handy! What a lot of time and effort this must have taken. How nice that you could put your photography to such benevolent use making a teaching tool of the sugary carnage. I didn't know about 'meat scat'. Yum!

  2. I think we should invite Megan to join the Magnuson cake-decorating team!

  3. I take my hat off to Megan. That is an incredibly intricate and creative cake decorating job - I wonder what she could have done with the zombies/Elizabeth and Darcy/granola montage that decorated Bonnie's and my most recent confetti cake.
    Madeline (I can't figure out the URL thing).

  4. Madeline, just ignore the URL thing, I do...
    Jesse, did you ever work for BLM? I'm afraid I have you mixed up with someone else. Call it Birthday-candle Loss Mitigation--24 years' worth of fire fighting experience.


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