A morning ski on the Blacktail Plateau in Yellowstone National Park. Tracked by nature yet not trampled.
In spite of lacking heat the winter sun still warms the day.
A Dusky Grouse keeping quiet while waiting for us to move along as we walked through the cottonwood trees in the creek bed. Seeing these birds move through the dry leaves and into the cottonwood trees with colors so similar to their own just makes a fall day feel…just like fall.
We had not seen a Green Tailed Towhee all summer so it was quite a pleasure to see one of these secretive birds in the distance a week or two ago.
A regular and constant companion on forest hikes is the Clarks’s Nutcracker. This day instead of foraging for pine nuts this nutcracker was busy feasting on crickets on a late fall afternoon. We watched as she swooped down from a tree landed in a field and quickly picked up a cricket. We were quite surprised as it had been quite cold and well below freezing yet there were insects to be found.
Clark’s are fascinating birds that each year bury tens of thousands of pine nuts. They remember the location of a large majority of the seeds which they consume during the winter. The seeds they forget then may become new trees and thus the Clarks it integral to the growth of new forests.