Phantom Lake

Further down the northern road on the April 22 evening visit, lotsa bison and people on either side!  People parked and waited for a two year old bear in either Phantom Lake or the next one (the next one, I think) to come out.  It had been denning under the road somehow … can’t remember if it was using a culvert.  Apparently the bears have their clan of observers, too, like the wolf clan!

Phantom Lake fills with run off and looks like a spring fed lake, but it isn’t, so no fish.  It looks so convincingly like a natural lake that people regularly fish in it.  Sorry, Charlie!  It’s one of those ethical moments for the locals when they see folks fishing — the truth? or let the moment of enjoyment stand on its own? Usually the latter.

Somewhere along here we saw mule deer (no surprise) and then whitetail … not quite an invasive species, but it tends to out compete the mule deer.  Yellowstone National Park is considered the Serengeti of the northern hemisphere, as there is no other larger concentration of large mammals.  It has an incredible array of what otherwise can be top predators in their own right – wolves, grizzly bear, American black bears, cougars, coyotes, red fox, Canada lynx, bobcats, wolverines, and badgers, river otters, and weasels.  Someone thought they saw a young cougar in a chase/road crossing.  There are also major ungulates:  bison, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and whitetail deer.  In ten hours in the park, we saw all but the mountain goats of the ungulates.

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