19 May 16. Back home safe and sound having experienced nothing of note until we returned. Returning home we found we had no internet and no phones, and just to make things a bit more interesting, upon turning on a heat lamp for Will the bearded dragon we had a short that we were to learn the next day took out a goodly portion of the mail computer including its internet capabilities. Should have stayed at the condo!! Overall the trip encompassed 2060 miles, just under 60 hours of driving, and 140 gallons of gas. Gas prices out in MT were between 1.09 and 1.23; we had to return home to get it at 1.50!! Packing for the trip I thought I had it all, only to discover that once we got there I had overlooked my 600mm telephoto which I need for the big game long distance shots. Of course, since we never see bears or wolves I figured I'd get by with my shorter 400mm. So when it rains it pours, the 400 failed to operate correctly, and we saw three different sets of black bears, two with yearling cubs. We also saw moose, elk, bison – a few thousand of them – coyote, fox, pronghorn, black tail deer and big horn sheep. The only big game we missed were grizzly and mountain goat. And Maggie made several new friends, one especially so, a golden doodle named Phoebe. They had an absolute ball playing together for the better part of two weeks. A very successful trip over all. Plus all kinds of weather ranging from brilliant sunshine, high windstorms, one beautiful but way too short snowstorm, and rain, three days of which the worst was the entire day on the first leg of the return trip with the western 1/3 of I-90 drenched. Temps were all over the place from the high 70s to freezing. Even more so “all over the place” were the red dogs (bison babies); we've never seen so many and all the locals commented that this was the highest birth rate they had ever seen. So if one was to pick a theme for this year's trip, it would be the Year of the Red Dog. That said, what say we begin our return to the DI mailings with an image of 3 red dogs. The herd that lives in the community where the condo is located, Hebgen Lake Estates, numbers in the 600s, so there is no lack of bison to be observed virtually any time of the day, but especially so in the mornings and evenings. This is an evening shot of 3 ti-red (as one of the cherubs used to say) red dogs lying in the back of the building while their mamma's had a leisurely evening meal. It is really fun to listen to them “talk” to one another; especially when one member of this family is subtly encouraging one youngster to enter the condo only to have mama issue her youngster a stern rebuke for even contemplating such inappropriate behavior. This being Theatrical Thursday it should be a creative image, but I've decided to go with a straight one since we've been off-line for so long.
The base image was cropped to a more pleasing layout and that was it. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 800; 1/160 sec @ f / 9.