Yellowstone Magic

Yesterday we spent a lounging day and visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a wildlife rehab facility that is also sort of a zoo. It is a great way to see some grizzlies and wolves up close, if not personal.

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Today we went into the park to see the geyser basins. Along the way we discovered that the animals have come out of hiding. It was a warm day and we took a long hike in the geyser basin. Not many erupting geysers on this visit, but the scenery is beautiful. And, of course, there are the animals. Just before we got back to the car we encountered a coyote on the trail. She sat in the middle of the trail yipping and howling, apparently seeking her mate. There was no answer and she didn’t move. As we were interested in lunch we edged forward, not wanting to frighten her into becoming aggressive. At about 25 yards she moved off the trail to let us by, but kept yelping for some time.

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A great day in one of our country’s greatest treasures.

Paul

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A Day In Yellowstone

Today we ventured forth on frozen roads to Yellowstone Canyon and Hayden Valley. This time the wildlife did not disappoint us. We encountered a herd of bison shortly after entering the park and the fun continued.  Hayden Valley was as beautiful and expansive as ever with  bison, birds, and a lone coyote mousing in the meadow. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was magnificent in snow.

On the way home we tried a little unintentional off-roading. Note to self: 30 mph is too fast on an icy 6% downgrade. After an interesting slide we plunged rear first off the road and into a tree. I shifted into 1st with 4×4 and drove back out of the ditch onto the road…going back the way we had come. The only damage is a crack in the plastic bumper and a slight dent on one side where we played bumper cars with a small tree on the way down. We found a turn around and navigated the same hill safely the second time…at 20 mph.

Our day in the park ended with a nice drive along the Madison River with fishermen, elk, and bison to photograph.

Paul

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A Snowy Walk

This morning we decided to explore the trails around West Yellowstone. There are trails that go directly into the park and some in the surrounding national forest. However, we found the trailheads warning of bear attack and recommending travel in groups of 3 or more. Also, we forgot the bear spray. Therefore, we stuck to the trails close to town and kept a lookout.

It has been a bright, beautiful day with the temps just rising into the 30’s so the snow is gleaming and water dripping from every point. At this rate the snow will be gone by tomorrow.

Paul

 

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New Painting

Today for my birthday I decided to paint a scene from our stay on Vancouver Island last June. This has been a long time in planning and design. The actual painting takes the least time of all that goes into it.
Paul

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20 Degrees and Sunshine

This morning I’m celebrating my birthday with 20F, snow, and sunshine. It is beautiful.

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Paul

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Snowstorm Update

Still snowing and accumulating.

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Finished an abstract painting based on the algae mats around the hot pools.

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Paul

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Surprise!

It is snowing and blowing this morning in Yellowstone. Perhaps that will bring the elk, bison, wolves, etc. out of the woods and into the warm geyser basins.

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Paul

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First Day In Yellowstone

Our first day in Yellowstone we decided to visit the Madison River Valley, and the Lower, Middle, and Upper Geyser Basins. Here are a few photos.

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You will notice the conspicuous absence of wildlife. Once again on this Rocky Mountain trip elk, bison, bear, and other large mammals have eluded us. It appears that the warm weather has convinced them that it’s not yet time to seek the shelter of the geyser basins. Snow is due tomorrow, so maybe the animals will begin to move.

We did take many photos for art reference. There were many opportunities to study light and shadow. With the weather prediction for tomorrow we may stay in and paint.

Paul

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On To Yellowstone

Yesterday we traveled from Canmore, Alberta to Great Falls, Montana. Other than a 45 minute wait at the border (only 9 cars in front of us), the trip was uneventful and picturesque. This is a route on which we have never ventured. High plains land. Shortly after crossing the border we passed the Sweet Grass Hills, sacred lands for the Blackfoot people.

Today we left Great Falls and stopped in Helena to shop at Costco. Food supplies can be limited and expensive near Yellowstone, so we stocked up on meat, wine, and some vegetables. Along the way we followed the Missouri, Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers. All were filled with drift boaters and waders going after late season trout. The towns are filled with fly shops and fishermen looking for a hot bait. Our day’s travel ended with a drive down the Gallatin River valley on the west edge of Yellowstone. This is another first for us and it was quite beautiful.

As of today we have traveled about 1400 miles, mostly in the Rocky Mountains and high country, including several National Parks and preserves in Canada. The unusual fact we must report is that we have seen no animals. In all our past autumn trips elk, bear, deer, wolves, fox, etc. have been frequent sightings. What is happening?

Dinner in our condo was chicken filets accompanied by my signature pasta with anchovy, caper, and sundried tomato sauce. Tomorrow we venture into the heart of Yellowstone and hope to see some of the elusive wildlife.

Ciao!

Paul

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October in the Canadian Rockies

My painting class with Liz Wiltzen has ended and I once again have time and energy to get back online. It was an intense three days of learning methods and skills to use in designing a painting. I have always planned my paintings, but learned that I didn’t really design them. An analogy that occurred to me this week is that I have become a fairly competent carpenter (painter) and could build a house (painting), but I didn’t have the architectural (design) skills to make that house (painting) as strong and beautiful as it could be. Liz is a great teacher whom I would recommend to any artists. Visit her website at www.mountainartist.com

The workshop didn’t involve making competed paintings, so I have none to share. However, prior to the class we did have a great day at Vermillion Lakes near Banff. Here are some photos and a couple of the sketches I did that day, and a photo of Jean painting. Enjoy!

Paul

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