The wonders of Yellowstone National Park are numerous! Eventually I will post something about its mountains and valleys, river and lakes, and—of course—its thermal features.
But seeing some of the animals that call Yellowstone National Park home is really incredible. There are many I have not yet seen: bear, moose, otter, beaver, and a range of smaller animals and birds. Well, on one visit, I saw a moose—bigger than life. By the time I pulled my camera up, he had sauntered off into the woods and disappeared. They must be magical beasts, since he so fully disappeared among the trees in just seconds. Oh well.
Probably the most iconic animal associated with Yellowstone National Park is the Buffalo. More officially, buffalo are called bison—and I have shared a separate post about these magnificent creatures. They are incredible. I marvel at their strength and presence.
Of course, the buffalo know the park is their home and the tourists are merely visitors, so they stroll wherever they want, even along or even across the roads. And they rarely hurry.
I especially liked when this guy strolled right to and then past the car.
Elk are also abundant at Yellowstone and in the open areas between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. They are beautiful and elegant as they meander along the roads and near the buildings. It seems wrong to me that tourists crowd into the fields just to get a little closer to them.
Rocky Mountain Goats are in the area as well. These young goats were playing along the highway en route to the park a couple days in a row.
On a drive around Yellowstone Lake, I spotted this creature. I so wanted it to be a beaver or an otter, but no such luck. My best guess is that it is muskrat.
Birds make their home at Yellowstone as well. For me, the most impressive are the Swans. On one visit, they were making a nest, but that was pretty far off.
Ravens, of course, are all over.
On one visit, I even saw a Robin, a Black-Billed Magpie, and some Canada Geese.
On my most recent visit, I had some nice views of a lone Coyote doing a bit of hunting out in a field.
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QUOTES ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ANIMALS
“Our task must be to free ourselves. . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Gandhi
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.” Dalai Lama
“Lots of people talk to animals. . . , Not very many listen though. . . . That’s the problem.” Benjamin Hoff
“Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.” Milan Kundera
“I don’t believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals.” Gary Larson
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” Abraham Lincoln
“The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit.” Ashley Montagu
“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” John Muir
“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures in not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That’s the essence of inhumanity.” George Bernard Shaw
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” St. Francis of Assisi
“The animals of the planet are in desperate peril. Without free animal life I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen.” Alice Walker
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” Immanuel Kant
“The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.” Emile Zola
“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Albert Schweitzer
“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall they be saved.” Jane Godall [And I would add: Only if we save the animals and the natural world, can we save ourselves, our world, our souls.]
ONE FINAL NOTE: I have always loved Nature and Animals and—thus—have always felt the need to protect them. I am especially aghast for the last several years to what is happening to all aspects of the environment under the guise of the Environmental Protection Agency. Here is a list of some actions underway as of last November; of course, more have been underway since then as well. If you are concerned too, please share your concerns with your locally and nationally elected officials. Vote this issue. All of the environment—including national parks and all animals—needs to be protected from short term economic gains for limited companies and industries.