Field Trip Report, Day 5.

We checked out of Arco early this morning, the first community in the world ever to be lit by electricity generated solely by nuclear power and where we had stayed as we visited the Craters of the Moon, and headed east. The first stop was Grand Teton National Park, where I only managed one presentable picture of somebody new, a surprisingly talkative and “rosy red” pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) serenading the parking lot at the Colter Bay visitors center.

There was also a pair of common mergansers, that we’ve seen a zillion times in Estabrook, and a couple of other birds that defied my attempts to capture their likeness. After a short hike along the shores of Jackson Lake and a bite to eat, we continued north into Yellowstone National Park.

We stopped to see a geyser erupt and Anne spotted this stunning anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon), cousin of the eastern tiger swallowtail we often see at home, sipping from a blossom similar to the dwarf buckwheat we saw at Craters.

Then we headed north through the park towards our next motel, and along the way we came across a couple groups of American bison (Bison bison) grazing in picturesque valleys.

I saw at least two hosting brown-headed cowbirds, just like the ones we have in Estabrook, and I am stunned to read just now that they “followed bison herds across the prairies … before European settlement.” How cool is it to see them in their traditional habitat, eh?

There were also several calves in the herd, and here’s one nursing while Mom tries to graze.

Finally, we also spotted a couple of elk (Cervus canadensis) cows, and this one was kind enough to pose for this picture.

PS. Anne says I should include at least one “scenery shot”, since the scenery has been pretty nice, so here’s one of the Teton Range from across lake Jackson.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “Field Trip Report, Day 5.

  1. Love your pictures! It looks like you’re seeing some pretty specular scenery. The only thing I can think of that you’re missing here are the lilacs outside your window. I brought a bunch inside – ahhhhhhhh.


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