Tetons & Yellowstone
12 January 2006
During the whole of a dull winter day, Charlotte and I passed through a singularly dreary tract of country: Kansas. And eastern Colorado. But as the shade of evening drew on, the sight of the Rocky Mountains cheered us. Our day ended at Andrea's, a delightful German restaurant in Lyons, Colorado.
13 January 2006
Before heading on to the Tetons and Yellowstone, we spend a day exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. Black-billed Magpies, like their cousins the Gray Jays and Clark's Nutcrackers, are now quite tame and come sweeping down for a handout whenever we stop along the road.
14 January 2006
Just north of Fort Collins, we come upon a herd of about 25 pronghorns. For me they are the most beautiful grazing animal in North America - a true symbol of the western wilderness. Unlike deer, elk, and moose, pronghorns evolved here, and are not related to the true African antelopes. When alarmed, as they usually are when they see humans, the herd rounds up, then vanishes over the ridge en masse.
15 January 2006
We've come to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to visit the National Elk Refuge. It's also a good place to see bison, deer, coyotes, and bird life. We found these wintering Trumpeter Swans on Flat Creek, just outside town. Their constant companions were Barrow's Goldeneyes, a diving duck that eats the aquatic invertebrates stirred up as the swans feed.