DAY FOUR - Friday, June 23


I’m out at 4:30 again but it’s much warmer than yesterday at 39 degrees.

This is the third morning in a row in which there are nearly no other cars on the road.

There is mist rising from the Ponds again, beautifully catching the early glimmers of light.

Unfortunately, my third day on the Blacktail is not the charm – none of us see wolves here this morning. Part of the reason is the ample fog, coming and going over the areas where the wolves are usually seen.

We do see some bison, a few elk and a single pronghorn. I also find a pair of sandhills and a hawk.

On my way back, I stop at Blacktail ponds and find three geese families. One has a single gosling; another has three and a third has four. I also find several yellow- headed blackbirds and enjoy their strange squeaky-hinge calls. To round out the morning I find a cinnamon teal and some mallards.

The final day of the Conference is good, too, and I collect quite a few business cards. When I get to my car, I consider driving into the Park one last time, but the threat of heavy rain changes my mind.

I head north at 12:30, just as the first drops arrive.

It rains hard the whole way back. In Livingston there are places where the water has ponded over the road. The highway is a mess, and I get tired of being splashed every time a bigger vehicle passes me. So, I get off at Jackson Creek and take the “slow and pretty” route home.

Today I saw: bison, sandhill cranes, elk, geese (including 8 goslings), a hawk, mallards, pronghorn, a cinnamon teal, yellow-headed blackbirds and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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