Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010 Denali - Day 2

Today was a day of wildlife viewing in Denali. The day was overcast and cool - 42 to 47 degrees. There was a pretty good clip of wind so it was a little chilly out - but with a sweater and a sweatshirt you were okay as long as you weren't out in the wind too long. Of course, you can tell this is a little bunny rabbit. He was being a little shy and didn't want me to take his picture, but I think it turned out okay. BTW, this is not the bunny I saw yesterday - the one yesterday was larger and had a lot more white on it than this one. Anyway, I thought you would appreciate this little guy.

I told you yesterday that the Visitor's Center was going to open today - which it did. We were able to go in and see a short video of the four seasons in Denali - if I had to describe the time frame we are in now, I would say it was after winter but before spring. For those of us that have actually lived in an area of the country were we have the four seasons you will understand this statement - it's before anything buds out, but it's not snowing all the time (In the North Carolina mountains it was the month of February - the blah month). Anyway, the snow has not all melted, the rivers are not thawed yet, and the temperatures are still on the chilly side almost all the time. In other words, we are about a month too early. I bet that if you were here in the middle of June or the first of July it would be beautiful. The only thing I can say now is, the mountains are wonderful and the lack of vegetation does make spotting the animals a little easier.

We saw a lot of caribou today - probably three or four groups of at least 6 to 8 in a group. They are starting to get their antlers - as you can tell from this picture- and they are still in velvet. I am amazed every time we see these animals how much lighter in color they are than the ones we saw last year in Idaho. They are still pretty awesome animals.
This is another group that we saw crossing the road. We first spotted them up on the hillside but I couldn't get a good shot due to the foliage - but I could tell they were headed for the road -so, we just waited a few minutes and there they were.
Oh, before I go any further - I said something yesterday about riding the bus into the park - well, we were not able to do that today because the buses are not running yet - at least not all the way into the park. We could actually drive back further into the park in our vehicle than the buses were running. The park service does not shut down private vehicles from the park until the 20th of the month and they had the road closed after mile marker 33 - they are still doing construction of the road. Anyway, we just drove in again today and took our time looking around.
Actually that paid off - because look what we saw by taking our time and really looking around

Can you see it??? Do you know what it is???? Well, if you said a grizzly bear you would be right!!!! A real live, in the wild, grizzly!!! And he was HUGE!!!!!!! My camera was not able to really pick up how big he was, but by looking with Dan's binoculars you could really see him - and he was beautiful!!!!!

Here he has his head down in a hole in the frozen river - he must have been looking for fish ,but we didn't see him get anything. We must have watched him for at least 15 minutes. At one point, we thought he was going to cross the river and come up toward us, but then he turned and went back over to the far side again. I know that this will not be our first grizzly bear this year, but it was truly exciting to see and watch this big guy. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of our first grizzly as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Well, I'm going to sign off for today - we will leave this area tomorrow and head down toward Anchorage - I think that we will be going through Wasilla tomorrow also. We might stay a couple of days in Anchorage and just drive down to the Kenai instead of taking the unit. It will be a good day trip and we can take the pups with us. I don't know if we will have Internet service down there - right now it's sorta a hit and miss type thing. (I was surprised that I got service here on my air card - even if it is National instead of Mobil broadband. At least I have service!)
Hope you are having a good weekend! Take care everyone and keep the comments coming. Oh in case you are interested, see yesterday's blog comments for the answer to the bird question! In the meantime - have a good day and -----------------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Good morning. 10:30 am here in GH. I made a copy of your grizzly bear picture - made a nice blow up - nice looking bear. Neil thinks that most of the bears are just coming out of hibernation - only focusing on getting some food. If you see this before you go to Anchorage - there are some very nice wildlife and native museums there. Enjoy your day.


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