Archive | October 2015

Mini Me~

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We’ve been home at The Holler for a couple of weeks now. The highlight of the trip was spending time with Mamma Griz and her Mini-me!

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Thought you might like to see some more photos of them.
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Here they are surveying their vast domain.

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It’s mini see, mini do, with these two!
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I have never seen such perfectly executed mimicry. Mini is learning how to be a bear.
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They live in an awful pretty place,
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and they are a awfully handsome pair!
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Cheers to you from Mama Griz and Mini-me in their mountain lair~
Note: If you didn’t see the other photos of Mama Griz & Mini-me check out:
https://cindyknoke.com/2015/09/17/grizzly-daze/

Cabin Fever and The Ol’ Wild West~

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Okay, this is a big log cabin! The fireplace weighs 500 tons and is 85 feet tall.
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It is of course the six-story lobby of The Old Faithful Inn built in 1903-4.

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I have a fever for all kinds of cabins.
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They remind me of pioneers, fortitude and the American West.

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There seems to be living history you can feel in the real old ones that are still in use.
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Jim loves experiencing this too.
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We like to stay in cabins and imagine a simpler, more natural world.
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With fire for warmth, log walls for safety and wild animals as constant companions.
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At home in the wilderness…..
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Can you imagine what it was like to travel like a pioneer, stake out a claim, and build your cabin?
Okay, okay, there would be no wi-fi, no indoor plumbing, no grocery stores.
Can you imagine NO WIFI…..Ever????
I can bare knuckle it for 10 days max.
Cheers to you from the, almost wild, WiFi-west~

Rare Wild Trumpeter Swans~

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graceful ballerinas,
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plie’ in black stockings.
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Mating for life,
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there were only 70 left!

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With care and concern,
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there now are almost 40,000.
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Cheers to you from Yellowstone’s Wild Trumpeters~
Note: Trumpeter Swans are the largest swan in the world with wingspans reaching over 3 meters. In 1933, because of extensive hunting, there were only 70 left. They were on the brink of extinction. A breeding population was discovered in Copper River Alaska that was used to reintroduce swans to their native environments. Trumpeters require pristine habitats, today they are threatened by habitat degradation. These swans were photographed in their year round home in Yellowstone National Park. The water in The Yellowstone River has thermally heated areas that allow the swans to survive the harsh Wyoming winters.

Fastest Four Legs in America~

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Everyone knows the fastest land animal in the world is the cheetah, but not everyone knows the second fastest animal in the world is the North American Pronghorn Antelope. Pronghorns can run up to 55 mph for .5 miles. They can run 35 mph for up to 4 miles. In fact, they can run at high speeds for more sustained periods than African Cheetahs.

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This is a puzzling ability because no predator in North America can run fast enough to catch a pronghorn, so why is it necessary for pronghorns to run this fast?
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Biologists believe that pronghorns evolved to run these speeds in order to evade the now extinct American Cheetah.

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During the Pleistocene era, there were twelve species of pronghorns in North America. By the time humans settled on the continent there were five.
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We are now left with one remaining species. Pronghorns are in fact not antelopes at all but a unique species named Antilocapra Americana. Handsome creatures aren’t they?

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Pronghorns range all over the American west, into Canada and northern Mexico.
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They have the longest land migration of any species in the continental US.
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They migrate 300 miles roundtrip, between Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin,
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and Grand Teton National Park.
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Cheers to you from the fascinating Antilocapra Americana~

Loose Moose~

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If you don’t look carefully you’ll miss them. They are quietly munching all around the Tetons. Once, a long time ago, I was skiing here, and came upon a moose! Unlike a boulder it MOVED, and I had to dodge it!

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You have to watch or you’ll walk right by and not even see them,
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which is what happened with this mama moose!

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After she finished eating, she called her calf,

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and off they ran, away from us.
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You gotta keep your eyes open in Teton National Park.
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Beauty is everywhere.

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Cheers to you from the loose moose of Jackson Hole~

Nevermore~

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But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

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Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master……”

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Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

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I was as puzzled as Poe.
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But, unlike Poe, I found a way, to stop the raven from endlessly screeching.

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Move away from his food Poe, and he’ll say thank you, instead of screaming nevermore!

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This raven carried on forever until we realized we were preventing him from reaching his cache of whatever he was eating. We moved and silence reigned. Still, I developed some empathy for poor Poe!
Ravens are highly intelligent birds with intellects similar to Chimpanzees. Check out this link for 10 facts you probably didn’t know about ravens:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/53295/10-fascinating-facts-about-ravens
Cheers to you from the very smart, and finally quiet, Raven~

Waterton Lakes National Park Canada~

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At the beginning of the 19th century, there were an estimated 1.5-2 million big horn sheep in North America.
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By 1900 that estimate had dropped to several thousand.
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Conservation efforts have brought current populations up to approximately 70,000.
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We saw several groups in Waterton Lakes National Park.
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Waterton is busy in July and August and essentially closes in late September. In the town of Waterton, most summer residents leave, with only around twenty or so souls remaining year round. The day we left the winds were blowing at 65km/h with gusts up to 90km/h! It gets COLD here fast and the locals tell me winter can be hard to take, with everything shrouded in mist. I would love to visit in winter and do a post about what life is like in a town where almost everyone has left!
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The road to Waterton.
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The iconic Prince of Wales Hotel brooding over the stark fall landscape. How would you like to stay here as the winter caretaker while the hotel is closed all winter long? I would love it, as long as Jack Nicholson doesn’t visit! No ‘Shining’ for me, thank you very much.
Cheers to you from gorgeous and uncrowded Waterton Lakes~