Grizzly — Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) – Yellowstone National Park, WY.  Grizzlies are normally solitary active animals, but in coastal areas the grizzly congregates alongside streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds during the salmon spawn.  Every other year, females (sows) produce one to four young (commonly two) which are small and weigh only about 500 grams (one pound).  A sow is protective of her offspring and will attack if she thinks she or her cubs are threatened.  Grizzly Bears are very aggressive animals that will take anything as a threat.

This Grizzly was actually still with his brother who is just ahead of him.  They were still quite friendly with each other, this will not be the case when they start competing for females.  If I had not talked with a local photographer and a park ranger who were familiar with this pair, I would not have been able to learn about these guys.  When my brother and I came across these two they were just having some fun by putting the run on some full grown bison, it was a lot of fun watching them sneak through the trees and then charge the bison.  After they did this several times they wandered off together.

Deer Tracks along Bear Creek

Even though this photo is from last year this is essentially how it looked until a short time ago. I drive by this location at least several times a day going to and from work.

Goatlick — Glacier National Park

The Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, is a large-hoofed mammal found only in North America. Despite its name, it is not a true goat, as it belongs to a different genus. It resides at high elevations and is a sure-footed climber, often resting on rocky cliffs that predators cannot reach. Both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, long black horns, 15-28 cm in length, which contain yearly growth rings. They are protected from the elements by their woolly white double coats. The fine, dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In spring, mountain goats moult by rubbing against rocks and trees, with the adult billies (males) shedding their extra wool first and the pregnant nannies (females) shedding last. In the winter, their coats help them to withstand temperatures as low as -50 Fahrenheit (-46 Celsius) and winds of up to 100 mph (161 km/h). A billy stands about one meter (3’3″) at the shoulder to the waist. Male goats also have longer horns and a longer beard than nannies. Mountain goats typically weigh between 45 and 136 kg (100 – 300 lb.);[2] females are usually 10-30% lighter than males. The mountain goat’s feet are well-suited for climbing steep, rocky slopes, sometimes with pitches of 60 degrees or more, with inner pads that provide traction and cloven hooves that can be spread apart as needed. Dewclaws on the back of their feet also help to keep them from slipping.

Blackfeet Nation Sunrise

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is made up of 1.5 million acres located in the northwestern part of Montana, which includes most of Glacier County. On the north it borders the Canadian Province of Alberta. On the west it shares a border with Glacier National Park. The Badger-Two Medicine portion of the Lewis & Clark National Forest borders to the southwest. Other natural southern & eastern boundaries include Brich Creek & Cut Bank Creek. Elevations vary from a low 3,400 feet in the southwest to a high of over 9,000 feet at Chief Mountian on the northwest boundary.

Freezeout Lake — Snow Goose Migration

Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in Teton County in north central Montana 40 miles west of Great Falls along US Highway 89 between Fairfield and Choteau – Access the area from US Highway 89, or Frontage Road from Fairfield, to various turnouts and parking areas year-round. (Lat 47.659, Lng -112.038)

Freezeout Lake is Montana’s primary snow goose staging area, a place where as many as 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans gather and rest before flying onward. In Spring, the snow geese head for Alberta and central Saskatchewan in Canada. There they mass with hundreds of thousands of other snow geese from Texas and other Gulf Coast States. In a series of shorter flights, the geese then make their way to nesting grounds on the wind swept, extreme northwest Arctic coast of Canada. The Snow Geese usually reach Freezeout in early March, where they rest up from a nearly 1,000 mile flight from California. Best viewing of the birds is from sunrise to 10:00am and from 4:30pm until sunset. 

Eagle, Hwy. 2 — Glacier National Park

Eagle I spotted on the way home from work about a week ago. This was along Hwy. 2 on the southern border of the park between Essex and East Glacier Park. I managed to get quite a few shots but he was so far away that most were not very good. This is the one that I liked the best. It was not till he took flight that I realized there was a second eagle somewhere that I did not notice before, they flew off together into Glacier National Park as I was departing…