So I managed to get in part of a zoom meeting in Wonderland Cafe and Restaurant. Then I went out and took a photo of the Yellowstone National Park sign and Roosevelt Arch while it was daylight.
Good to see Bob … after almost 40 years. Been a long time since either of us derived or integrated functions, an excellent calculus teacher back in the day. But now, he was having to get a bunch of trees cut, as were other neighbors because of an infestation by some kind of coating pest or fungus. It’s clear but hardens over the bark. Over time, he now owns three adjacent houses adjacent near the Yellowstone River. The River flows out of the Park through Gardiner. He started with a duplex which he rebuilt one summer with a nephew and nephew’s friend. Then he and Connie bought another, then they built the one he lives in. Connie worked with the architect for a very open design, e.g., no hallways.
His front yard displays a life-size replica to a fraction of an inch of the actual measurements of Wolf 21, the adopted son of Wolf 8. It is a cast metal very similar to this image Doug Dance used in this article. Wolf 21 was alpha-male of the Druid Pack of the Lamar Valley for around 6 ½ years and lived to be 9 years old, like his long-time mate, Wolf 42. Most wolves live about three years, not every wolf becomes an alpha (female or male), and Wolf 21 and 42 were unique for the duration of their relationship and tenure as the alpha pair of a pack. Bob captured a LOT of film of Wolf 21 and the Druid pack. A really big wolf when you are 5 feet away and certainly caused me a number of double takes!! Coyotes must look dinky through the field glasses and viewing scope.
His at home “wolves” are a mixed breed and one whose species I couldn’t identify (big with wolfy long fine/outdoor white fur, both rescues – Raven (the smaller) and Agate (the larger, with her left eye missing). They liked Organix, too. Very sweet doggies!
Scott is another filmer/photographer/scientist and also staying at the house.
Bob shares his housing to support Yellowstone Forever, a non-profit organization which supports all kinds of programs, particularly scientists and artists in Yellowstone ecosystem-related research and the Yellowstone Forever Institute (education and more). The Wolves Project represents a 25 year study, the only one of its kind in the world. It has documented and studied the wolves from their mid-90s reintroduction, as well as historical research prior to and inclusive of the extirpation era.
We had dinner at Wonderland Restaurant and Café (“Wonderland” is what YNP was originally called). Bob had mac’n’cheese with elk, and I had quinoa wild rice and substituted sautéed mushrooms.
Bob ticked off the tiers of experience to try for / hope for with wolving.
Find a wolf on your own.
See a wolf.
See a wolf doing something.
See/hear a pack.