DAY THREE - Thursday, January 26

HIDING FROM THE WIND

There are 3 inches of new snow on the car this morning, and fox tracks in the road. The temp is 14 degrees.

Alas, my wish does not come true this morning as it did yesterday. I find no wolves waiting for me in Lamar. Instead, it is very foggy with fairly thick snow falling.

No one has found the Junctions anywhere, yet.

I scope from Longs and Boulder, then decide to look at Specimen Ridge from Elk Creek. Visibility is not very good but I find nothing anyway.

Eventually I hear that wolves are being seen from Childrenís Fire Trail, so I head there.

The Rescue Pack is visible to the south. Itís a long look and the wind is fierce up here. A few times the wind blows icy grains of snow in my face and onto my scope. So, I tuck myself behind Cameronís big silver truck which helps block the worst of it.

Visibility is pretty good, despite the falling snow. At first, I see three or four wolves acting playfully near a frosted tree. Several of them begin to move west toward a bison herd. My count rises to 11.

The wolves move slowly, surrounding the bison, drawing a few defensive charges by the bulls in the herd. They wander right and left but nothing actually develops. One of the grays beds down to the right of the herd while others start to wander back to the spot by the frosted tree.

I notice a high raised tail on one of the blacks which I read as mild flirting behavior. Soon after, the pack has a rally and sets off to the southeast. Snow falls more heavily and as they travel, making them harder and harder to see.

I spot a fox heading the opposite direction as the wolves but lose him in the frosted tree area.

After a few more minutes without wolves in view, the wind is enough to get us to pack up.

On the way back east, Laurie & Dan and I see a moose browsing on willows a bit east of Christmas Bear. And there is a beautiful bull elk at Phantom Lake.

When we get back to Lamar, I am surprised to see so much remaining fog. The top of Specimen and most of Mt. Norris is shrouded from view.

Once we are snug and warm back in Silver Gate, we are delighted to receive a visit by the neighborhood mama moose. She roams around the front yard, nibbling on willows and drawing the attention of passing cars. .

Today I saw: bison, coyote, elk, 2 moose, 11 Rescue Creek wolves and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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