MOOSE, MOOSE, AND MORE MOOSE
Turns out the best place to see wildlife is while sitting in the motorhome in camp. Moose wander through or skirt the camp, and frequently stop to stare.
I quit counting at 17. There were several more.
Before the altitude got to me and confined me to camp, I went back to the White Rocks and climbed to the top.
I was going to see how close I could get to the notch.
|I won't bother to point out the location of our camp because only a tiny piece of white is visible, right of center behind the trees.|
|This dead tree trunk made a great spot to catch my breath, enjoy the scenery, and try to get a focus on one of the dozens of migrating butterflies.|
|Some detail on that tree's roots.|
|Closer. At least I'm on the same level.|
|The two sandstone pillars across the valley. Note the sheer drop-off below me. It's the same on the other side.|
I didn't get all the way to the notch because there was a deep crevasse that I could not cross without some serious rock-climbing skills, ropes, ladders, and pitons, none of which I had in my pockets.
This being a dead calm day by Wyoming standards, I was very careful about my footing, all in a desire to not get blown into the next county. In fact, I set my camera down in a safe spot before I crossed the last crack that I could. Maybe someone could use it should I tumble down the sheer sides of this sandstone edifice.
The best part of this solo journey into space is that while I was sitting on top admiring the view, a half dozen ravens flew over and circled directly above me, no doubt waiting to see if I'd be fresh lunch soon. They soon gave up and soared away.
Here's a bird ID tip: Hold your hand out in front of you with the fingers spread. The fan shape is like a crow's tail feathers in flight.
Now close the fingers. The wedge shape is like a raven's in flight, because the crow's feathers are of equal length, whereas the raven's center tail feathers are longer than the others.
|It's autumn in these parts, but I found a vestige of summer.|
Rock Creek, one day and another:
A HUNTING TAIL-- BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Bud and I stayed at White Rocks while Chris and Bob hiked across the valley floor to the pillar. I was photographing birds.
When we left, we came across a young fellow and stopped to chat a moment. He told us this tale:
He had shot an elk. When he approached it, it appeared to be dead so he and his dad took turns taking photos.
Suddenly the elk kicked out, knocking the dad backwards and laying a darned good bruise on the man's shin. Junior tracked the elk "for five miles", seeing tracks of wolves and mountain lions also following the wounded animal.
Now, he was off again the track the elk.
|Off goes the brave hunter, facing wolves and mountain lions.|
We stopped at their tent, which they were in the process of equipping. It was a huge tent, with an added vestibule in the back for a cook tent.
|Twenty people could set up cots in this tent.|
|The cooking vestibule.|
Dad showed us his injured shin and verified the story, not that we were skeptical, you understand. But, this WAS a hunting camp and my understanding is that hunting ethics dictate a hunter always believes another hunter's story before trying to out-do it. Much like fishing ethics.
|Dad's "humongous" injury from the elk.|
Oh, wait. How could I forget?