There is some frost on the car this morning.
I have an unexpected meeting in the dark with a bull bison on the Pebble Creek bridge. Luckily, I stop in time.
I join Rick on Exclosure, but we don’t see any wolves.
We do see the Amethyst grizzly. We are told that distant howling was heard to the southwest of from Coyote at 5:45.
We decide to spread out. Laurie & Dan go to Slough while I go to Coyote. Rick decides to climb the hill, but I am not feeling it today.
I scope all of Jasper, paying special attention to the western end. A single uncollared gray wolf walks right into my scope field.
Before I can grab my radio and hear Rick call to say he sees a single gray. We are both looking at the same wolf.
Neither of us sees any others, though. Hmmm. Perhaps the pack has already moved elsewhere and this gray missed the boat?
I scope a while longer, finding pronghorn, bison and a lone bull elk. Hmm, it feels like it might be one of those mornings.
I continue west, stopping here and there, getting updates from Laurie (still no wolves). I end up scoping from Elk Creek, intending to look for the Junctions on Specimen. But I’m looking directly into the sun which complicates everything. And it’s not a clear day but a hazy one, which also doesn’t help.
Around 8:45 I hear that a single gray is being see in Lamar, traveling east.
I head back there and stop at Trash Can. I find the gray which is very likely the same one Rick and I saw on Jasper.
The wolf is stiffing all the places where his family was yesterday. He howls but does not seem to receive an answer. He wanders here and there and eventually reaches the spot in the short grass where the bison skull still sits.
Somewhere in this area he seems to find something fresh. He turns around and heads back the way he came, with a jaunty step, like he’s figured it out. I take this to mean his family is somewhere to the west.
Dan finds a badger out in the eastern part of the rendezvous. A badger is always fun to watch.
The gray heads up into the trees and out of sight.
Well, it’s almost noon, so time for a break.
Our friends Maureen and Rick will be arriving this evening, so we decide to stay in tonight to welcome them.
It’s great to see them again.
Today I saw: a badger, a grizzly bear, bison, mule deer, pronghorn, 1 wolf (an uncollared gray Junction)
and the spirits of Allison and Richard.