DAY TWO - Sunday, January 14


It’s 6:48 and a very cold minus 27. My poor car is not happy about starting up today.

This time of year, first light happens about 7:15. I find the roads clear which is welcome but so strange for January!

I join Rick at Picnic. There is one other car in the lot, so I say good morning to them, two young women from Cody. They saw a gray on the carcass last night and show me where to look.

Aha! There is a gray wolf feeding right now! I tell Rick. The cold is brutal, with a slight wind making it worse. Rick quickly finds a black bedded just a bit to the left of the gray.

When the gray finishes his meal, he walks to the bedded black and I witness a warm, friendly greeting between the two. The gray is noticeably larger than the black.

This pullout fills up, as does Trash Can. Several people think the black wolf is the Junction pup, but Laurie is not sure. I always defer to her instincts, her great eyes and her overall knowledge.

After a while, the gray starts off to the east. It takes a while but the black eventually follows him. We get a better look at her and do not see that “brownish” coloration we’ve both noticed on the pup. We think this is an uncollared black yearling, the one I sometimes call “black mask” or “delicate”.

She follows him and they both bed down in front of the Middle Foothill.

Three coyotes approach the carcass after the wolves have gone. Two of them squabble with a smaller, lighter one, and eventually run the small one off.

Krisztina arrives with her BF, Corey. Nice to see them both!

Cameron arrives and I take the opportunity to show him my comparison photos of the Confluence from 2001 and now. He’s into it.

There are two other visitors here that I remember from past visits, Nick and Carsten. They are enthusiastic and helpful spotters.

The day “warms” to minus 15. Aiii!

While the wolves are sleeping, I count 30 ravens and a golden feeding on the carcass.

Around 11:00AM I head east to warm up. On the way I see the local fox in the road west of the pothole bridge. As I near Laurie’s driveway, guide Quinn stops to give me a tip. Thanks to him I see two moose, a mom and yearling calf, near the Soda Butte Creek across from Hartman’s.

Thanks, Quinn!

I head back in around 2, first brushing off a dusting of snow from the car.

The temps have managed to rise to 5 degrees above zero. I notice an eerie but beautiful snow-fog all along the creek during the drive down.

At Picnic I find three coyotes on the carcass. The wolves have moved from where we left them, replaced by bison.

Visibility grows worse as the day wanes. I talk to some interesting people from Brazil while we look for wolves and watch the coyotes.

When I get back to SG, I spot a big bull moose in the marsh across from Laurie’s. We watch him from the living room window, happy to be back inside. Boy, he is a big fellow!

Today I saw: bison, coyotes, a golden eagle, elk, a fox, 3 moose, two wolves (uncollared black and uncollared gray - both Junctions) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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