Monday, June 6, 2011

t to the a to the s-t-y

Possums! I am home, and totally converted to Yellowstone in spring. Fall is for ninnies. I might even try Yellowstone in winter sometime. Fifty feet of snow in some places, the free documentaries about Yellowstone on Netflix tell me.

The geothermal features were stinky and impressive as ever, except Mammoth is almost totally dry, which is a big disappointment. Grand Prismatic Spring has colored steam, did you know that? Now you do.

We saw many bison, which is cool even for hardened, jaded Westerners like me. I had a college roommate whose dad was a bison rancher, you guys. One time they had a bull who got feeling cranky and he hooked one of the cows and threw her over the fence. They are so big, and so crazy with their matted fur all falling off in chunks. They really do look prehistoric.

We saw some elk, and some bighorn sheep ewes. We saw a couple of marmots. My parents saw a wolf pouncing on a mouse.

WE SAW BEARS. Grizzly bears. They are surprisingly fast. It was much cooler than seeing them in the zoo.

The boys all got their Junior Ranger badges (wolf for Ike, grizzly for Grant and Emmett). I recommend the Junior Ranger program, because it increases the children's enjoyment of and involvement in the trip about a hundredfold. Did you know there is a spot in Old Faithful's underground plumbing that is only four inches across? Did you know that it spits out roughly eight thousand gallons per eruption? Did you know that the water coming out is about five hundred years old? Now you do, and it's all because one of the badge requirements was to listen to a ranger presentation, and we chose the Geysers Galore talk by Ranger Collins.

On the way home we stopped at the Frostop diner/drive-in in Ashton, and boy, was that a mistake. Terrible food, loud idiotic country music celebrating all that I loathe about redneckery (can I adequately quantify for you my indomitable loathing for modern country music? nopes), skanky girls with cheapo boob jobs . . . it was really something. I'm just saying; if you work at a drive-in, then maybe instead of spending your money on a nasty boob job you should spend it on furthering your education, so you don't have to work at a drive-in. But what do I know?

When we got home I was so excited to see animals that I could see AND touch, with no signs saying WILDLIFE ARE DANGEROUS DO NOT APPROACH that I hugged Rex and Groceries almost in half and got their hair all over me. Then I went out to shut the chicken pen and there was A SKUNK INSIDE THE PEN. I screamed and ran for John, and when we came back out the skunk was gone. So I shut up the chicken pen like Fort Knox, and unless the skunk can chew through wood in one night the chickens are safe until tomorrow.

We separated the goats, and all the babies are so fat they look like they might be bloated. I hope not, because I am fresh out of trocars.

Then we checked the bees, and I am so proud of those little buggers. Look at what they have been doing!
So far I am a big fan of the top bar hive method. You can see that they are building their layers just like they are supposed to. It's almost like they know how to build stuff without a whole lot of direction from people. Like they've been doing it for a while on their own or something.


tipsybaker said...

I need a tutorial in a month or so on separating goats.
JEALOUS of your trip to Yellowstone! We didn't see any bears.

All8 said...

Yellowstone sounds great. How busy/packed was it?

Congratulations on your bees doing exactly what bees should do and how they should do it. The older I get the more I realize the less "involved" I am, the better things do, cuz mother nature knows exactly what she's doing. Go figure.

Layne said...

All8--it was not crowded at all. I don't want to tell anybody for fear it will change, but the weather was great, there was little traffic, and the animals were far more active. It's the best time of year.