Saturday, May 21, 2011

Baby Bison, Spiky Terrain and School Yard Bullies!

   I went for my usual lunch time hike and went down this fairly steep hill of the Lower Mammoth Hot Springs into an area filled with boulders and soon came across a herd of bison.
This cow stared me down after they heard me coming up.  They started to grunt and make a menacing racket of noise grunting and huffing at me.

I climbed a big boulder and looked out to see that,
I had come into herd of about 50 buffalo with 7-18 babies, 20 cows and a few bulls all standing tightly together. 
This was a prime calving area. The bison felt safe with the steep hill on one side, the river on another and
hidden amongst the house size boulders.                                  

    Most babies are really strong when they are born and spend their time kicking and dancing about with their peers as well as suckling off their mothers and harassing the bulls and other cows.

Soon, they all streamed out of the rocky gulch and headed south along the Boiling River upwards into the highlands of the Blacktail Basin; where if the snow ever melts this year, they will have many types of long green grasses waiting for them to eat and grow fat on before the next winter.  

These babies have to endure wolf packs, bear chases, wild cat ponces but 'I bet' their most feared enemy is these prickly pear cactus. I can just imagine what pain and shock these hardy, sharp and plentiful cactus might deliver to these new to the world calves carelessly running and kicking  about.

The School yard bullies
Mammoth Hot Springs 

                                           "Hey Mr. Bull Buffalo could you give me a push?"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cooke City, Montana Cowboys on Their Metal Motor Horses Living in the Deep Snow


Cooke City Montana:
 I hope you like this over view shot as I wrenched my
knee falling through deep snow on the side of this mountain to get the shot.
End of the road folks!

This is the Eastern entrance to Cooke City which is actually closed after a couple miles and only open
to people on snowmobiles all the way to Red Lodge, Montana some 75 miles. So
in the winter there is only one way in and out of the town.

This is the Western entrance to the town coming through Yellowstone National Parks North East entrance.

As you can see the snow is deep and constant a perfect place for man and machine.
Not to many women to be found in this little haven of the modern day cowboy with his
metal horse. 
Cowboys removing their toys.

The photo here was published in Montana Magazine and the reason I made a couple trips to
the end of the world i.e. Cooke City.
Lots of inexpensive rooms to be had in Cooke City mid winter, but like I wrote
not to many women to be found so forget about the big nightlife. It is all dudes!

Most of the small businesses are closed in winter and the snow is very deep...
...burying everything very deep. These photos were taken in January with several months of snow to come yet!

This venue was open and had good lunches

I guess you could rent these out but bring a shovel

It has been a long cold wet winter in Cooke City and people tell me it is
every year here on the edge of the Yellowstone

Cool totem pole in a blizzard