When viewing wildlife in its natural environment, the goal is to not disturb it. This often means talking in whispers, looking through telescopes from a respectful distance and sometimes not even getting out of the vehicle. We were fortunate to have vans with big windows and hatches in the roof in order to pop our heads out like gophers and take pictures of animals that were really close.
After showing you pictures of things from far away, I thought I would give you a break and show you some of the animals that I could actually photograph without a telescoping lens. In the winter the rule of survival for wildlife is to expend as little energy as possible. This sometimes means using the paved road to get where you are going. We saw coyotes, fox, moose and even a wolf use the road for a little bit. But the animal that is best at this is the bison. This means you always have to keep paying attention because you never know what is going to be around the next corner.
Our guides could not guarantee that we would see most animals, however, they guaranteed that we would see bison…and they weren’t wrong! (P.S. the word bison is interchangeable with buffalo.)
And finally, a couple of days ago I posted about big horn sheep hiding in the cliffs. Well, they do come down off the cliffs during the day to eat the shrubs under the snow that aren’t as high. We were fortunate enough to come upon a group having their lunch right by the road. I am amazed at how sure footed they are even on such an incline. However, we did learn that predators sometimes catch a sheep by surprise and send it tumbling off the rocks in order to kill it. Not very fair perhaps, but when you’re hungry…