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Junior Curator Yellowstone Trip Day 1 and 2

June 16, 2018

Here’s the blog we wrote at the end of the day we arrived… a little late in coming, but we hope you enjoy!

When we all assembled, it was four am in RDU airport. The day we had anticipated for months was finally upon us—the day we departed for Yellowstone National Park.

Thirteen Junior Curators from NCMNS and our three fearless leaders, Melissa, Erin, and Kurt, headed to Yellowstone for a weeklong foray into the wilderness. After ten hours of travel by air and land (aka plane and van), we reveled in the fact that we had finally arrived in Yellowstone. We walked through the Roosevelt Arch that used to mark the arrival of stagecoaches into the park, “letting go of our cares like autumn leaves,” as John Muir instructed Yellowstone visitors years ago, we turned our minds to focus on exploring the park and its wonders.

Within five hours of our arrival, we had seen a total of six bears and multiple elk and pronghorns, as well as more common animals such as beetles and chipmunks. We saw elk lying in a field between two buildings at Mammoth Hot Springs and watched four bears—including three cubs—run across the road between stopped cars.

At the end of the day, we arrived at our lodgings and settled in for food and discussion of what we had seen and hoped to see in the following days…

Our second day, in summary, was cold, wet, and amazing. We fit so much in that it felt like a week instead of a day. We got to see baby sheep jumping in the air and wolves feeding on a baby pronghorn. We watched a adult peregrine falcon feed her four chicks, while its partner waited out the rain in a notch across the canyon. We stood quietly by a talus slope and were lucky enough to see an elusive pika. We saw one of only 5 amphibians in Yellowstone – a boreal chorus frog. And we learned a lot about wolves on a hike to the only remaining acclimation pen with Kira Cassidy, a wolf biologist. Cold. Wet. Amazing!

The group watching for pika

The group watching for pika

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Peregrine falcon nest

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Checking a pond for amphibians

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Looking at a wolf pelt with Kira Cassidy, wolf biologist

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lori Chek permalink
    June 16, 2018 10:13 pm

    Sounds like you are off to a great start! We can’t wait to see the pictures – thanks, for doing this, Melissa!

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