INTRODUCTION and WOLF NEWS
I wanted to visit Yellowstone in April so that I could see the Park in the shoulder season, when the least number of people are in the Park, yet still with a good chance of seeing critters such as bears and wolves.
I wanted especially to see Wolf 302M since I missed seeing him at Christmastime. Ever since he re-invented himself as a responsible family man, he now lives on the Blacktail Plateau, an area much harder to spot wolves in than his old home with the Druids in the Lamar Valley. As things turned out, I missed him this trip, too, although news of him was fairly constant.
Before I head to the Park I try to get caught up on animal news and wolf news in particular. To do this I check Ralph's website and Y-Net and the various Loon pages and sometimes I check in with specific Loons. When I'm in the Park I ask lots of questions of those who know far more than I do about the lives of the Yellowstone wolves, to confirm or rule out my guesses and speculations and to educate myself in order to dispell myths or to clear up misunderstandings. Please remember that I do not consider myself a wolf expert, but a wolf fan. I try to be as accurate as possible, but the truth is, the information contained in this report is my interpretation of events I have witnessed or heard about.
Thanks, as always, to John Uhler for starting it all, and this time especially to Laurie & Dan, Jan & Bill, Jon & Steve, Rick and Richard for sharing their time, friendship and valuable insights with me.
Finally, a note about Allison and her spirit. Allison was a shining-light of a woman, my friend and the Queen of the Loons. She passed away suddenly in December of 2003. In June of 2004, her loving family arranged for her ashes to be scattered on Kite Hill in Mammoth Hot Springs, where she had worked in her youth. Many of us were in attendance at that ceremony. Thus, each time I visit the Park I feel her presence, and I hope always to share my trips with her.