The next day (9/6/13), still at Henry Lake, an Idaho State Park.

Silly me, up at the crack of dawn, well actually a little bit before, trying to photograph wildlife and critters.  None of these ducks were here the day before.

Proof that I was up before the crack of dawn.

A French Canadian Goose showing off it's "French" curve.

I liked the abstract nature of this photo with the reflections of the flying ducks and all.

A couple of Sandhill Cranes, there were actually three but the third one was camera shy.  The one on the left is an apparent juvenile.  The one on the right?  Possibly in nesting plumage.  

I photographed this pair near Susanville, CA on March 10, 2012, shown here for comparison of colors.

Where's Mr. Tong when you need him?  A little inflight chaos.  Not sure when they will go into the traditional Vee, but probably soon or maybe when they gain some altitude.

Shifting gears and back in Yellowstone same day only in the evening, the Madison River by my camping spot in Madison, Yellowstone

I love photographing the Elk.  A cow in this case feeding in the late evening.

I can't bear to see the damage the Bears do to the trees.  In this particular
section, nearly all of the trees were shredded like this one.  The dirty culprits
were no where to be seen though so this must be old news.

Jack Beebe said, "You have to check out Boiling River."  Well Jack, I flew by it once because there is not one sign on the highway designating this area.  If Jack had not told me specifically where it was I would have never found it.  Thank you Jack.

The sign at the swimming hole and the fine print disclaimer.  I don't think anybody reads any signs as shown by the people using the swimming hole.  The fine print says; to minimize your risk of catching an infectious disease, it helps if you don't submerge your head.  Guess what every man, woman and child was doing with their head?  5 AM?  Are they really swimming at 5:00 AM.  I really don't know.  Ask me if I care?  Anyway's, when do the bears get a turn?  Only between 9 PM and 5 AM?  This is suppose to be a park for the animals?

This water originates in Mammoth Hot Springs and then travels underground to this point before a short journey to empty into the Gardner River.  I wonder if there are any cave structures between the two points?  Maybe we could send a camera down with a flood light to see if there are any caverns.  

The short route to Gardner River.

and the end result of mixing river water with very hot spring water.  I felt the hot spring water and as far as I could tell, it was running about 120 degrees.  According to a bulletin posting, the water varies between 113 degrees and 140 degrees.  A tad warm for a Hot Tub.  It's a good thing there is plenty of cold river water to mix with it.

Because of the HOT springs, you get year round algae growth and other strange things like trout spawning in the middle of December in an area known for getting 30 degrees F below zero, in the winter time.  No icing over ever, since the hot springs started flowing.  (Before my time.)

There are two hot springs entry points with the river, the one I previously showed, and this one that sort of empties into a kiddies sized pool area.

An out of commish caldera located next to the swimming hole trail.

Now you have got to ask yourself, "Is he going to the left or is he going to the right?"  Actually, he's West bound (left).  Found while exiting the Boiling River swim hole.  Shown about 2 or 3x his normal size.

Jack's 45th Parallel sign.  If you’re leaving Mammoth and you see this sign, you missed the two parking lots for "Boiling River."   You must go back!

So I went to the campfire Ranger talk two nights in a row.  The first one was a propaganda piece trying to justify re-introducing the wolf based on food chain logic.  Because the Wolf was eliminated, the Elk multiplied and ate the whole park out of house and home causing loss of habitat for everything from Gophers to Beavers to birds not to mention stream bank erosion.  Now that the Wolf is back, food chain equilibrium is re-established and the park is at peace again.  Never mind that the wolves leave the park every Winter and ravage the cattle ranches adjacent to the park with few Wolves returning because the Ranchers are allowed to shoot them outside the park.  

Here's an idea.  Why not allow big game hunting in the park to control herd size for all the big game.  Man took the Wolf out of the Park, let man do the job of the Wolf, thinning the herds for the park's benefit.  Ranchers are happy, hunters are really happy, the park is back in equilibrium with just a few extra shell casings strewen about.

The second campfire talk was historical and focused on the origin of the park, how it floundered at first because there were no laws to run it with.  This park was invented before any of the adjacent states had attained state hood.  No such thing as poaching so oppurtunistic individuals would come in and slay Bison for their heads for instance, as they were valued for mounting over the fireplace.  The park finally got some Federal laws passed and now the game hunters were legally kept from killing animals in the park.

Yes it's a park, but lets manage the herd sizes.  Even a million acres isn't enough to keep growing herds in the park.  Wolves?  Who's bright idea was that?  The park can't keep the Buffalo in the park in the Winter, who ever thought you could keep nomadic Wolves in the park?  Even Wolves would shudder at the idea of wintering in YS when it gets 30 below zero.

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