Nature News from GYE #37

Yellowstone in May

And sometimes June and July……

How many of you have visited this area and been snowed out of a stretch of road you wanted to travel, or the trail you wanted to hike? I bet more than one of you reading this. I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow and recalled one of my brother’s comment when we were stuck in a blizzard hiking up Mount Wahsburn on a 4th of July long ago….”what are you doing living in this god awful place (weather)” Ha….

Of course that was decades before now ( what happened to the last 43 years?) and we’ve shared many visits out here. The unseasonal snowy days are lifesaving, literally, as snow is the primary source for our ground and surface water in this part of the world. It’s also why we have scenes like these below…

Fishing Cone, Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Canyon a few minutes before next photo
Snowing in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River
Ursine Sweethearts
Early summer crowds at Old Faithful
Gotta build a snow goddess in May

Water is life. We all are hyper aware of this at this point in time. Every mile along the roads in Yellowstone and beyond points to the influence of water shaping and supporting this landscape. So when I wake up to a morning like this, I think to myself..”yay”.

Remember Joni Mitchell’s song “The Circle Game”? The Seasons go round and round, we’re captive on the carousel of time…. It reminds me to pay attention to the changes that don’t always happen in a way we expect. The seasons come and go, and we see this world in the beauty of that moment. It reminds me how nothing is constant and to embrace the twists and turns.

buttercups in spring

For many of us, it’s the time to put bird feeders away, be vigilent about storing garbage and extra aware we share our trails with lots of other creatures. I often finish presentations about Greater Yellowstone with these thoughts:

“May we always have places like this where we can see wonders like Old Faithful erutping, bear tracks in the snow as they come out of their dens in the spring,

Grizzly tracks

and a place where we can fill up our hearts and feed our souls”.

May these places be “Forever Wild”

Thanks for reading these posts. Leslie


  1. Lisa Ralls

    Thank you for your inspirational posts and words!

  2. Thank you Leslie! I picked up Jim’s book at Notch Hostel, North Woodstock, NH during a hike. What a man! During a trip to Katahdin this last Tuesday, I stayed at AT Lodge. The owner Ole Man knows Jim well, very well. So fortunate to find this site and thank you for keeping it going!!

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